Health in Cambodia

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The quality of health in Cambodia is rising. The Royal Cambodian Government plans to increase the quality of healthcare in the country by raising awareness of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. In 2005, total healthcare expenditures accounted for 6.4% of GDP, the highest in Southeast Asia.[1]

Health status[edit]

Life expectancy[edit]

As of 2010, the life expectancy is 60 years for males and 65 years for females, a major improvement since 1999 when the average life expectancy was 49.8 and 46.8 respectively.[2]


Major infectious diseases include a very high risk of food or waterborne diseases including bacterial and protozoal diarrhoea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever. Vector borne diseases include dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria.[3]

Cambodia has been certified as being polio free since October 2000.[4]


Main article: HIV/AIDS in Cambodia

Cambodia’s HIV/AIDS epidemic is spread primarily through heterosexual transmission and revolves largely around the sex trade. HIV transmission occurs mainly in sexual partnerships where one partner has engaged in high-risk behaviors. Women constitute a growing share of people living with HIV/AIDS, comprising an estimated 47 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in 2003, compared with 37 percent in 1998.[3]

This increased proportion of infections among women may reflect declining prevalence rates among males, as well as deaths among males infected in the early years of Cambodia’s epidemic. Significantly, a low prevalence rate in the general population masks far higher prevalence rates in certain sub-populations, such as injecting drug users, people in prostitution, men who have sex with men, karaoke hostesses and beer girls, and mobile and migrant populations.[3]

By 2014, HIV prevalence was reduced to 0.4 percent through a successful prevention program. However, in 2015 a massive outbreak of HIV stemming mostly from Roka occurred. The cause is thought to be the reuse of syringes by an unlicensed doctor operating in the region who has since been jailed.[5]

Maternal and Child Healthcare[edit]

The 2015 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Cambodia is 161.[6] This is compared with 290 in 2010, 265.8 in 2008, and 409.1 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 90 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 34. In Cambodia the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 6 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women 1 in 110.[7]

Regional: Ratanakiri[edit]

Health indicators in Ratanakiri are the worst in Cambodia.[8] Malaria, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, cholera, diarrhea, and vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles are endemic.[8][9] Rattanakiri has Cambodia's highest rates of maternal and child mortality,[9] with 22.9% of children dying before the age of five.[10] Ratanakiri also has the country's highest rates of severe malnutrition.[9]

Ratanakiri residents' poor health can be attributed to a variety of factors, including poverty, physical remoteness, language and cultural barriers that prevent Khmer Loeu from obtaining medical care, poor infrastructure and access to water, lack of accountability in the medical community, and exacerbating environmental factors such as natural resource degradation, decreasing food production, and internal migration.[8][9] The province has one referral hospital, 10 health centers, and 17 health posts.[11] Medical equipment and supplies are minimal, and most health facilities are staffed by nurses or midwives, who are often poorly trained and irregularly paid.[11][12]


Note: These statistics are aggregated for both Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri provinces.

  • DPT1: 44%
  • DPT2: 24%
  • DPT3: 19%
  • Measles: 39%
  • Children moderately underweight: 35%
  • Children severely underweight: 19%
Access to health care[13]
  • Visited health facility in last year: 13%
Sexual health[13]
  • Age at first intercourse: 18.0
  • Age at First Marriage: 18.6
  • Knows that a healthy person can have AIDS: 78%
  • Knows that condoms can be used to prevent AIDS: 33%
  • Uses any method of birth control: 8%
  • Uses condoms: 1%
  • Uses modern method of birth control: 7%
  • Delivery Assistance by Doctor: 1%
  • Delivery Assistance by SBA: 14%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Levine, David I.; Rachel Gardner (2008). "Briefing paper: Health care in Cambodia.". University of California, Berkeley. 
  2. ^ Cambodia. Retrieved on June 20, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "2008 Country Profile: Cambodia". U.S. Department of State (2008). Accessed September 7, 2008.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ "WHO country cooperation strategy" (PDF). World Health Organization. April 2001. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The State Of The World's Midwifery". United Nations Population Fund. Retrieved August 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. ^ a b c Riddell, Ebony. "Community-led safe motherhood advocacy, Ratanakiri, Cambodia" (PDF). Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health vol. 126 no. 6 (November 2006): 258–59.
  8. ^ a b c d "Improving Access to Healthcare for Indigenous Women and Children in Rattanakiri". Health Unlimited (2007). Accessed 2008-05-04.
  9. ^ "National Child Mortality and Malnutrition (Food Insecurity Outcome) Maps". United Nations World Food Programme. Accessed 2008-05-04.
  10. ^ a b "Indigenous women working towards improved maternal health" (PDF). Health Unlimited (May 2006), p. 9. Accessed 2008-05-04.
  11. ^ Brown, Ian. Cambodia. Oxfam (2000), p. 59–60.
  12. ^ a b c d

Sources and further reading[edit]

External links[edit]