The introduction of a new framework to promote primary healthcare in Cambodia will help ensure that the Ministry of Health’s latest strategic plan can be implemented effectively, its senior official said.

The framework will be based on the National Health Policy, the fourth phase of which is currently being finalised.

Or Vandine, ministry secretary of state and chair of the Taskforce for Primary Health Care Booster, said it is based on lessons learned from the Kingdom’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, in which she perceived the participation of individuals, families and communities as key factors.

“We believe that individuals, families and communities are at the core of primary healthcare. We must factor them into the framework we decide to implement,” she said during an August 30-31 workshop to discuss the framework.

She said the implementation will be done in stages, using an approached described as “Do, Adapt and Achieve”, which means that each step will be flexible and can be adapted to meet the circumstances under which it is introduced.

“We have the full support of the World Health Organisation [WHO] for the process. They have begun working with us to generate a draft framework for the introduction of primary healthcare to the Kingdom. UNICEF and several other organisations are also involved in the planning,” she said.

According to the ministry, the workshop discussed all aspects of the draft, with all comments taken under consideration ahead of the final product.

The participants discussed the development of mechanisms that would enable sub-national authorities to implement the draft policies, as ultimately they would be responsible for introducing them to the public.

“Our ultimate goal is to improve the general health of the public. We aim to reduce the co-morbidity and mortality rate and, in particular, make sure that they can protect their families from the transmission of various diseases. They should also understand how to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases,” said Vandine.