Health Minister Chheang Ra and Samuel Muller, head of Europe, Asia and Pacific region of GAVI held discussion on enhancing the wellbeing of the Cambodian people in a November 22.

During the meeting, GAVI expressed its commitment to augmenting the National Immunisation Program in Cambodia by including additional vaccines. 

Ra stated his gratitude for GAVI's support, acknowledging its role in promoting wellness through grants and facilitating increased vaccine coverage. The alliance aligns its efforts with the health ministry's long-term strategic plan, introducing new vaccines to advance public health initiatives.

"The sustained backing for the health ministry, incorporating new vaccines into the national immunisation program, aligns with our strategic plan to enhance the wellbeing of the Cambodian people and achieve comprehensive health coverage. This approach is also consistent with the Pentagonal Strategy of the seventh mandate government," Ra said.

He said that GAVI, aside from introducing new vaccines, has collaborated closely with the ministry within the National Immunisation Program, particularly during the Covid-19 outbreak. GAVI provided crucial assistance in organising and executing the master plan for the Covid-19 vaccination campaign on a nationwide scale.

He added that GAVI aided the ministry in sourcing Covid-19 vaccines, supplying them and furnishing cooling system equipment. This effort aligned with the goal of the Cambodian government to establish social and economic immunity, thereby reinforcing the national health security system.

Muller said that since 2001, GAVI has been a supporter of the health ministry's national immunisation program, engaging in significant projects including the Immunisation System Strengthening Project from 2001 to 2009 and the initial phase of the Health System Strengthening Project from 2010 to 2014. 

The alliance's support extended to the second phase of the Health System Strengthening Project from 2015 to 2022 and the ongoing Integrated Immunisation Project from 2023 to 2027, demonstrating commitment to the third phase of the Health System Strengthening Project.

Yong Kim Eng, president of the People's Centre for Development and Peace (PDP),  applauded GAVI's continuous support of the health ministry in providing vaccines for disease prevention among the population. He pointed to the vaccine alliance's longstanding partnership with the health ministry, particularly in executing the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination plan.

"We welcome and endorse the introduction of new vaccines, ensuring they meet high-quality standards," he said.

Kim Eng added that the ministry should vigilantly oversee the origin of vaccines provided by development partners to prevent the usage of trial vaccines that could pose risks to the population.