by Mom Chantara Soleil
Some 6,000 health-care deprived dwellers, young and old, in Khun Ream commune, Banteay Srei district of Siem Reap province will soon, and of course for the first time, have a well equipped health centre right in their commune, thanks to the assistance from the government and people of Japan through Plan International Cambodia.
Officially signed in late November 2013, the assistance aims to contribute to addressing the extremely difficult access to primary health facilities of over 30% of province’s nearly a million population, including those in Khun Ream commune, 35 kilometers to the north of Siem Reap.
In its Strategic Health Plan 2008-2015, Cambodia plans to construct 109 health centres in Siem Reap. However, the affordability of the government and assistances from some health development agencies including Plan International Cambodia could make possible to date only 69 health centers, reaching less than 70% of the provincial residents.
In absence of a health center
In his remark at the Japanese Embassy, Plan Cambodia’s Country Director Mr. Supriyanto highlighted that the absence of the health centre means:
- the poor have to travel far away to access the nearest health centre in the neighboring commune,
- many pregnant women give births at home with untrained traditional midwife,
- low coverage of immunisation for children and women in reproductive age,
- and high prevalence of common diseases among children including acute respiratory infection (ARI), diarrhoea, dengue fever, malaria and malnutrition.
The centre means beyond a facility
“The construction of Khun Reap health centre is more than a health facility; but it is an assurance towards the realization of children’s right to survival,” added Mr. Supriyanto, explaining that poor health condition troubles children’s concentration on education and their meaningful participation in matters affecting their lives.
His Excellency Mr. KUMAMARU Yuji, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Cambodia highlighted his understanding of primary health care gaps among vulnerable Cambodian population. The assistance comes at the very time when Cambodia and Japan relationship reached 60 years.
Across Cambodia, the child-centred organisation has made possible eight health centre and seven maternity wards, benefiting 250,000 community children and adults.
Health interventions are among many other distinct but integrated programme interventions of Plan Cambodia to promote the rights to survival, protection, development and participation.