Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN offers praise for health reforms, advises others

UN offers praise for health reforms, advises others

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Booster shots being administered in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district on Wednesday. Heng Chivoan

UN offers praise for health reforms, advises others

The UN in Cambodia expressed support and praised the government’s commitment to improving public health during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a press statement on October 13, it said the pandemic in Cambodia has disrupted all corners of society, including the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of communities.

The challenges responding to the pandemic are similar across countries, including dealing with the variants of the coronavirus, making the transmission among young, healthy and mobile adults difficult to detect.

“However, these challenges have also brought opportunities to the health system and beyond, and the investment in these opportunities will have a ripple effect for years to come,” it said.

The UN said the Cambodian government has been taking the opportunity to work for the future by investing in the health security system to ensure both a stronger response and a more prepared, resilient system.

“The United Nations commends the Royal Government of Cambodia’s commitments to promote public health and has supported it throughout the pandemic with policy advice, technical cooperation in line with the World Health Organisation’s technical guidelines, coordination of partners and agencies, training and procurements,” it said.

Throughout the pandemic, the UN said the organisation and working partners had supported the Ministry of Health to expand the diagnostic capacity of laboratories with technical advice, testing strategies, training, and procurement of more than $2 million. By September, a total of 12 laboratories could test 12,000 samples per day, compared with a single laboratory which could test only 500 samples per day in early last year.

“These investments will advance the country’s ability to detect new variants of SARS-CoV-2 and other novel pathogens that may emerge,” it said.

The UN also said it had worked with development partners to support the health ministry in strengthening local capacity for detecting transmission in the field, assessing risk, and responding to outbreaks. Around 3,000 Rapid Response Team (RRT) members were trained last year on Covid-19 to support the response.

“They participated in on-the-job training lasting four to six weeks at the health ministry’s Communicable Disease Control Department. These trained RRT members now serve as contact-tracing and surveillance leads in the provinces,” according to the press release.

It also procured critical supplies, such as personal protective equipment, at the cost of $1.8 million and essential medicines and equipment for oxygen support at $820,000 to aid that expansion.

It also assisted capacity building efforts for frontline healthcare workers, including critical care providers, in clinical management and infection, prevention and control measures.

The UN has given some recommendations for the government to deal with as ongoing transmission still brings the threat of new variants appearing at any time.

“The UN urges continued investment in provincial surveillance and response systems to enable provinces to detect cases more quickly and respond to clusters with targeted, localised measures, which will help minimise economic and social disruptions,” it said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a