Chlong tonle – the other side of the river is so far for some women in Cambodia
A woman died today after giving birth to a healthy baby boy. We came across her just in time to see the life fade from her eyes after hemorrhaging in the ward where there were four midwives and an obstetrician on duty. Only one staff was attending to the patient at the time of death – a student midwife.
The term for childbirth in Khmer is chlong tonle, which literally means “crossing the river”; it’s dangerous and you don’t know if you’ll make it across. Death always leaves you stunned. It’s staggering when you see a case that was entirely preventable. Angering when negligence is the cause.