News Release

Newborns Delivered the "Breath of Life" by LDSC Medical Team

In the year 2000, for every 1,000 births in Cambodia, an alarming 50 newborns were lost at delivery. The staggering infant mortality rates in the country have, for many years, been devastating and of great concern. In an effort to decrease the mortality rates of newborns and provide support and assistance, LDS Charities, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have partnered with agencies around the world, who tirelessly work to improve conditions in different countries, It was such a partnership with with RACHA (Reproductive and Child Health Alliance), the Ministry of Women's Health, and NMCHC (National Maternal Child Health Center) that brought Dr. Brent K. and Rosemary R. Lind, to Cambodia as part of the Latter-day Saint Charity (LDSC) International Medical Team. They brought with them thousands of dollars of neonatal resuscitation materials to donate and participated in a two-day Newborn Care Project. They were in the country to observe training, strengthen relationships, and insure steps for successful distribution of supplies. Doctors, nurses, and midwives traveled to the capital city from outlying Provinces for this vital training. When used in remote areas of the country, this machinery and procedure can mean survival in the few moments following birth of a tiny newborn struggling to breathe. These agencies will also deliver the donated resuscitation equipment to the provincial medical centers and provide further training on their proper use.  


LDS Charities has been teaching this technique in Cambodia since 2004. While Dr. Lind observed, the local Cambodian medical teams who had previously been trained, provided the two days of training. Because of ongoing work and training to insure better health for the women of Cambodia, and successfully implementing this procedure, infant mortality decreased in 2005 to 28 for every 1,000 births. Collectively, they have launched a five-year plan to further decrease this rate by half to 14 for every 1,000 births by the year 2020.

At the conclusion of training, which was held at National Maternal Child Health Center, a ceremony was convened for LDSC to formally donate the newborn neonatal materials and equipment in a hand-off ceremony. In accepting the donation, speaking on behalf of partners, Director of RACHA, Chan Theary commented, "It is a great day for Cambodian women and their babies; a gift of safety for both mother and baby. We are extremely happy and express our gratitude." Dr. Lind said speaking to those gathered, "We are gratified that maternal and child health care is improving in Cambodia. Although there is still a great deal of work to be done, over eighty percent of births now occur in health centers. We know all of the core trainers now teaching in the country were initially trained by LDSC, and the health centers we visited are properly teaching and using the materials and equipment donated by LDSC." 

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