Dr. Mam Bunheng, Undersecretary of State for Health, Cambodia, provided an overview of the health situation of women and children in Cambodia during a visit to JOICFP on December 8. He also expressed his country's desire to seek collaboration with JOICFP in the future. Providing background on the maternal and child health (MCH) system in Cambodia, Mam explained that the birth-spacing program is an integral part of the MCH activities and is primarily aimed at ensuring the health of women. Cambodia, which has a population of about 10 million people, presently has a high maternal mortality rate of 500/100,000 deliveries. Noting that the country also has a high total fertility rate of about 5.1, Mam emphasized that the government's birth spacing program is not aimed at controlling the population, but rather to ensure balanced development and population growth with the ultimate goal of guaranteeing the health of women. Cambodia also has a high infant mortality rate of 113/1000 live births. Mam explained that lack of access to services, supplies, and trained personnel hamper efforts to promote birth spacing. To overcome these obstacles, Cambodia needs support to develop human resources and to ensure supplies of basic medical equipment and essential drugs. Specifically, Mam stressed the need to train and retrain health staff to ensure adequate staffing at the community level. At present, the total number is insufficient, he said. While in Japan, Mam visited many health facilities as part of JICA's technical cooperation program and was impressed most with the quality services and facilities of the public health center.