Child Health

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Child health is one of RACHA's core focuses. Cambodia has made great strides toward the Cambodian Millennium Development Goals (CMDGs), which in the area of child health aim to reduce infant and children under five mortality rates. While there has been great success, the rates remain unacceptably high: for children under five there were 83 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 and 54 per 1,000 live births in 2010. Child health is a core of RACHA's focus programs. RACHA will strive to assist the Royal Government of Cambodia on reaching their millennium development goals which will reduce the maternal mortality ratio to 130 per 100 000 live births, the under 5 mortality rate to 30 per l000 live births and the neo natal mortality rate to 14 per 1000 live births by 2020, as stated in the Fast Track Initiative Road Map for Reducing Maternal and Newborn Mortality 2016-2020. Through RACHA's various other projects and initiatives, child undernutrition and the transferring of infectious diseases will also be also be targeted amongst children and adolescents both in urban and rural areas. A more recent development in RACHA's focus aims to reduce chronic problems Cambodian are facing with regards to oral health. Dental caries cause significant problems for children in Cambodia, affecting 97 percent of children of 6 year olds which can lead to oral infection if left untreated. Data from the Cambodia National Oral Health survey show that 98% of carious lesions do not receive any treatment at all. RACHA and its stakeholders will tackle this problem head on by advocating the importance of oral hygiene and health whilst also providing assistants in administering fluoride varnish to protect children's teeth during early childhood development.

Another recent project aimed at improving child health was the MyHealth project which was implemented in partnership with UNICEF and IRD. Within the My Health project, the aim was to monitor, analyze and provide intervention to reduce child malnutrition, morbidity and mortality in Rattanakiri, Kratie and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Children with severe acute malnutrition were referred to health centers and referral hospitals. In total, 3 anthropometric measurements were conducted including two follow-ups which reached 5000 married women at reproductive age and 7000 children under 5. In addition, 6 data collections were conducted to monitor child morbity to see the association between morbidity and nutrition status.

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Children in Thmor Sor Village in Koh Kong Province gather on a balcony.