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In 1975, after years of civil war, Cambodia suffered a devastating blow to its development as the Khmer Rouge took control of Phnom Penh. Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot's vision for a Cambodia absent of any social institutions such as banks, universities, religions or any modern technology centered on a return to an agrarian communist society.

The means of implementation were to exterminate anyone who didn't fit within this new ideal. The "new" nation was being turned back to "Year Zero", and intellectuals, businessmen, doctors, Buddhist leaders and foreigners were "purged." It is estimated that 1.5 to 2 million people--25% of the population--were killed during this time.

The Khmer Rouge did not stop killing Cambodians until 1998, when Pol Pot died.

Strained resources

Over 75% of the population lives in rural communities characterized by malnutrition and limited access to health services. Rapid urbanization has caused stress on financial resources in an economy where it is estimated external donors supply about half the nation's budget.

Today, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in the region.

Maternal mortality

Medical Teams is addressing high rates of maternal mortality (206 per 100,000) and newborn mortality (45 per 1000) in Cambodia. The goal is to reduce morbidity and mortality of pregnant women, new mothers and newborns in two health districts of Kampong Cham province.

Medical Teams International, Cambodia, safe motherhood

Did you know?

  • Over 1/3 of the population lives on less than $1 a day
  • More than 30% of Cambodians are under the age of 18

Deadly traffic & pregnancies

Medical Teams is advancing existing community-based First Responder programs to be properly trained & equipped for traffic and obstetric emergecies.

In Cambodia, traffic has taken a deadly turn as roads develop faster than hospitals. Over eight years, the number of crash fatalities have doubled-- every day, five people are killed, and 15 are seriously injured. One of the deadliest parts of a crash happen after impact; if no ambulance arrives or EMTs are inadequately trained, it may be hours before a victim reaches the hospital.

In many rural areas, dirt roads are bumpy, slippery and filled with pot holes. Ambulances are rarely available to rural clinics-- putting women with complications at great risk.

One $100 anti-shock garment can save hundreds of mothers during childbirth

MTI has worked to roll out anti-shock garments in all of Kampong Cham province. These garments treat post-partum hemorrhaging at health centers. The low-cost garments stabilize blood pressure and enable transport to a hospital where the patient can receive intensive therapies.
In spite of dangerous birth complications, this mother's life was saved thanks to an anti-shock garment.

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Every gift makes a difference:

$100 will purchase one non-pneumatic anti-shock garment, which can prevent mothers from bleeding out during difficult pregnancies

$500 provides training for one health center in the use of anti-shock garments

$510​ trains a health care worker on the basics of EMT


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