How radio is helping Cambodian mothers keep their babies healthy

Imagine you are pregnant. You want to find out information about pregnancy, labour and keeping your baby healthy. But all of the information you find is written in a language you don’t understand. What do you do?

This is the situation for many women in remote parts of Cambodia where ethnic minority communities speak their own languages - women like Thorm.

Thorm is 25 years old and from the Tampuen ethnic minority group.

She got married when she was 16 years old and has already given birth to five children…but only three of them survived. 

Standing with her youngest daughter, Thorm is happy she now understands better how to keep this young child healthy. Photo: Sok Vichheka/CARE

At CARE, we believe that all women should be able to access accurate health information to keep their babies alive and healthy, so we created a radio show in different local languages. The show dispels myths about pregnancy and childbirth—such as that drinking rice wine will make delivery easier—so women like Thorm have the information they need to stay healthy. 

Women come together to listen to the radio show and discuss what they have heard. The women then have the opportunity to share their experiences and ask for more information in a group setting.

“A facilitator helps to explain more about the show and sometimes asks questions to the listeners, and we all answer and share ideas,” says Thorm.

Photo: Sok Vichheka/CARE

Joining the group has helped Thorm understand the value of health for herself and her children.

“The radio show and women’s group meetings have taught me that pregnant women should eat healthy, nutritious foods, like vegetables, eggs and fish. I understand a lot about the importance of vaccinations for children, breastfeeding, and going to the health center for health check-ups and delivering babies.”

Thorm regularly comes to listen to the radio show because she wants to know what happens in the next episode.

“Listening to the radio show has become one of my favorite things to do!”

Women come together to listen to the radio show and discuss what they have heard. Photo: Sok Vichheka/CARE

Standing with her youngest daughter, Thorm is happy she better understands how to keep this young child healthy.

“The radio show is so important for me and other women. I have learned a lot about the importance of health for babies and mothers.”


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