Global Midwifery Twinning Project (GMTP) In Action – Cambodia Blog 12

January 19, 2015

Since arriving in the Kingdom of Cambodia our twinning team Paula, Pippa and I have been lucky enough to be able to work closely with Madam Chea ath the President of the Cambodian Midwives Association.

She has kindly allowed me personal access to her office and the translation skills of Liong Sao.

1689170_1560533444186407_7863522347675465158_n us at MCHNC

Our  goal was to find out what Madam Chea ath needed from GMPT in order to further the work of the Cambodian Midwives Association.

I tried very hard before I came out to the country and from the very outset to speak a little Khmer language. Hello, good morning, thank you, yes, no etc.  I had worked in Saudi Arabia previously and knew how important the incoming person speaking some of the local language would mean to the people I was trying to work with.  It has resulted in constant laughter as I try to speak Khmer, but has served to foster a fond relationship between us.

We were to be the final group of the current Global Twinning Project therefore there was some pressure to achieve targets. It was important to me to try and match those Poject targets with those of Madam Chea ath’s needs.  So I asked her.

She needed documentation to support the work of the CMA. In the first instance she needed a magazine.  Our aim is to reduce this to a smaller newsletter format.  This had been produced before by previous volunteers from the RCM and other volunteer partners but the change this time was to help Madam Chea ath and her very small team to learn how to produce it for themselves. They offered the content and we are working with them to produce the end product.

She gave me access to the template from the previous work and I worked closely with Liong and Madam Chea ath to choose photographs, list events that have taken place and choose an education topic for the publication. All of which would help to advertise the work of the CMA in kingdom to the midwives themselves and other organisations and potential funding bodies. One of the major aims of Twinning is to facilitate sustainability in Kingdom.  This work is still in progress at the time of this blog.

Madam Chea ath also recognised that she needs funds in order to hold workshops and events across the kingdom.  Cambodia is a large country with many provinces miles away from the capital Phnom Penh.  She has a network of CMA branches across Cambodia that are trying to work in similar way to local Branches of the Royal College of Midwives in the U.K.  However the distance, communication and the volunteer status of all staff at the CMA are challenges to the organisation including the sharing of information and skills.

We have been lucky enough to attend a workshop supported by UNICEF in Kratie province.  Not only was their education with regard to the prevention of Tetanus infection but Madam Chea also presented to staff about the differences between the Cambodian Midwives Association and the Cambodian Midwives Council. This was an opportunity to increase the membership numbers of the CMA.

Cambodia Jan 2015 174 Cambodia Jan 2015 172

So another important aspect of our work in Kingdom was to continue to help Madam Chea Network with other Cambodian organisations such as the Cambodian Midwifery Council, and educational institutions such at the MNCHC, the Training School for Medical Care and private universities.

CMA logo

We were lucky in that Paula had been asked to work with the Cambodian Midwifery Council who are currently working to develop tools to assist in the future regulation of the profession. She has networked with the current staff and had discussions with new workers in Kingdom trying to support the regulation of all medical professions.

Pippa had been asked to work with the TSMC was on site to understand at ground level the challenges of educating midwives in Cambodia. She has networked with fellow Australian Midwives who have embedded themselves in this institution to forward midwifery education.


Networking in Kingdom has been the key and we have tried very hard to make connections with outside agencies, funding bodies to inform our work here and also raise the profile of the Cambodian Midwives Association.

Our biggest coup so far has been to go with Madam Chea to meet Chris Vickery who works for the Department of Foreign aid and Trade at the Australian Embassy.

Since the meeting he has facilitated meetings with other important people in the Kingdom including WHO,UNFPA,  Watch this space.

Jan 2015 Cambodia 070

For us as a group of midwives working abroad the trip has offered opportunities of tasting fantastic food, meeting interesting people, witnessing beautiful scenery and in contrast extraordinary poverty and memories of tragedy. It is indeed a roller coaster ride, an experience we are unlikely to forget. The women and their babies are central.

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One Response to “Global Midwifery Twinning Project (GMTP) In Action – Cambodia Blog 12”

  1. Gillian Smith Says:

    Love it Helen so proud of you all

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