Priority Area: Social Protection in Health - Better health care for the people

Health care and social protection for Cambodians have improved during the last decade; but challenges still lie ahead in accessing good quality health care services. Areas which need improvement include maternal and newborn mortality as well as infectious and non-communicable diseases. Through financing different interventions under the Social Health Protection Programme, German cooperation supports the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to improve the quality of and access to health services mainly for vulnerable people and those living in poverty. Our efforts closely align with the Ministry of Health’s Strategic Plan and strengthen the capacity of national and sub-national institutions to improve the health care system. 

During the next five years, German cooperation will continue to co-finance Health Equity Funds (HEF) to ensure free health care services for poor and vulnerable Cambodians to prevent the risk of impoverishment or other financial burden. The HEF approach will be complemented by elements of the ‘Voucher’ scheme to further improve utilization rates of public health facilities and to progressively expand the services covered, especially in rural Cambodia. We will also provide technical advice and expertise to the Ministry of Health and other Government institutions to further develop a social health protection system for Cambodia as a whole to eventually arrive at Universal Health Coverage.   

But expanding social health protection must go hand in hand with improved quality of care that meets the needs of all citizens, including the poor and the vulnerable. Improving quality is thus the second pillar of German cooperation in the health sector. We assist with the design of national strategies, clinical guidelines and tools, address to promote sexual and reproductive health, patients’ rights and clients’ satisfaction and apply a mainstreaming approach to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities and the elderly. At the provincial level we support health facilities (hospitals and health centres) to systematically improve their quality by helping them to apply existing quality guidelines properly. Germany further supports the Fast Track Initiative of the RGC to improve maternal and newborn health, access to family planning and pre-and post-natal health services. Nurses, midwives and doctors are trained on the job to provide quality services in our target areas. German cooperation also addresses critical gaps in emergency obstetric care, family planning and sexual and reproductive health at community level, which are vital areas for improving women’s rights. 

Latest analysis reveals that 40 % of the children below 5 are stunted, 28 % are under-weight. Recognizing the negative impact of malnutrition in the long-run on people’s health condition and economic development, the Royal Government of Cambodia has launched a number of initiatives to address this challenge. Under the auspices of the BMZ ‘One World-No Hunger’ Initiative, German cooperation supports the RGC in its efforts to improve food security and nutrition in Cambodia by applying a multi-sectorial approach, combining activities in the health and agricultural sector and with a specific focus on hygiene.

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