Singapore nurses, doctors teach Cambodian midwives better birthing methods

Singapore nurses, doctors teach Cambodian midwives better birthing methods

These nurses and doctors from Singapore have played a crucial role in helping save babies and mothers in Cambodia, and their effectiveness lies not in fancy equipment.

It comes from teaching the locals.

Local Cambodian NGO Social Capital Venture Development collaborated with KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) to bring in a team of medical doctors and midwives to Kampong Chhnang Provincial Hospital (KCPH) for a four-day midwifery course last month.

Kampong Chhnang is 100km north of the capital Phnom Penh.

In the Chhnang province of 500,000 people, more than 15 women out of every 10,000 die during childbirth. In Singapore, the figure is just one.

Trainers

Among the 70 midwives who attended the training was senior midwife at KCPH, Ms Pal Darin. She was eventually identified as someone who could become part of a team of core trainers.

These core trainers were given extra coaching so that they will be able to teach their peers.

Ms Darin, 48, told The New Paper that she "cannot wait to spread (her) knowledge to the many trainees that come to the hospital". Currently, she works four 27-hour shifts every week, and makes only US$250 ($310) a month.

The long hours and low pay in a government hospital may be unappealing to many, but it is Ms Darin's passion to serve and love for life that has kept her going.

She said: "If I don't love my job and the people I meet, how can I still do it after 27 years?"

Ms Darin thinks she must have delivered at least 20,000 babies over the years.

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