by Mom Chantara Soleil
Over 5,500 residents of eight villages in remote Malik commune, Andoung Meas district of Ratanak Kiri province marks the first month of 2016 with a new well-staffed health center ready for operation from this week on.
Costing about US$ 120,000, the health center construction is funded by a British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) with headquarter in London through Plan International Cambodia who implements the project in collaboration with the provincial health department as well as the local authority and the community people.
“Our primary commitment is to provide affordable high-quality medicines, vaccines and care for people in Cambodia. However, we can only increase access to healthcare through partnership. By 2020 we want our medicines and vaccines to reach 80% of the Cambodian population to ensure they are available and accessible to those who need them, whether they live in a city or in rural communes like this one in Malik,” Mr. Hong Limchee, Head of Marketing of GSK.
When addressing the opening of Health Center on January 13, Ratanak Kiri Governor H.E. Thong Savorn called the partnership among government sector, community, NGO and private company – resulted in a health center – a vital catalyst to boost development and encourage quality services of the center.
“However hard we have worked; if our communication to the patients is not appropriate, the hard work would hardly be acknowledged. Please be mindful about our communication as medical staff because this psychological encouragement contributes to bettering the condition of our patients,” highlighted H.E. Chou Yin Sim who also attended the event.
According to Programme Manager Yi Kimthan, the existence of the health center separates Malik – about 60 kilometres to the northeast of Banlong province – from Ratanak Kiri’s communes with deprived access to basic health care.
“The health center will increase the number mothers with children under five years having access to maternal and new-born child care and promote services, such as birth spacing, immunization package for women and children under one year, child nutrition counselling, and more,” he added.
People in Malik, especially children, have suffered high prevalence of acute respiratory infection, diarrhoea, dengue fever, malaria, worms, neonatal diseases, eye infection, skin diseases and malnutrition.