Global Health & Medicine 2020;2(2):142-144.

Challenges to neonatal care in Cambodia amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Iwamoto A, Tung R, Ota T, Hosokawa S, Matsui M


Since mid-February, 2020, coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has been spreading in Cambodia and, as of April 9, 2020, the Ministry of Health has identified 119 polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive cases. However, the PCR test is available in only two specialized institutes in the capital city Phnom Penh; therefore, exact and adequate identification of the cases remains still limited. Many vulnerable newborn infants have been admitted to the neonatal care unit (NCU) at the National Maternal and Child Health Center in Phnom Penh. Although the staff have implemented strict infection prevention and control measures, formidable gaps in neonatal care between Cambodia and Japan exist. Due to the shortages in professional workforce, one family member of sick newborn(s) should stay for 24 hours in the NCU to care for the baby. This situation, however, may lead to several errors, including hospital-acquired infection. It is crucial not only to make all efforts to prevent infections but also to strengthen the professional healthcare workforce instead of relying on task sharing with family members.

KEYWORDS: COVID-19, Cambodia, neonatal care, family, workforce, task sharing

DOI: 10.35772/ghm.2020.01030

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