Remarks by Ms. Veena Reddy, Mission Director, USAID/Cambodia, The Official Launch of USAID Enhancing Quality of Healthcare Activity (EQHA) and Promoting Healthy Behaviors (PHB) Project

Monday, April 8, 2019
The Official Launch of USAID Enhancing Quality of Healthcare Activity and Promoting Healthy Behaviors Project
The Official Launch of USAID Enhancing Quality of Healthcare Activity and Promoting Healthy Behaviors Project

(as prepared for delivery)

  • Her Excellency Dr. Or Vandine, Secretary of State, Ministry of Health
  • Dr. Nilufar Rakhmanova, Chief of Party of the Enhancing Quality of Healthcare Activity
  • Dr. Chi Socheat, Acting Chief of Party of the Promoting Healthy Behaviors
  • Development Partners, Private Sector and civil society representatives
  • Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

Thank you for joining us for the official launch of USAID’s two new health projects, Promoting Healthy Behaviors and Enhancing Quality of Healthcare Activity. These five-year projects are managed by our long-time partners Population Services International and Family Health International 360, respectively.

My family and I have been in Cambodia for nearly two years already, and I have been fortunate enough to make many visits to the Cambodian countryside. During my trips, I have seen many health activities in facilities and communities. I have really enjoyed talking to clients and community members and finding out how the current health system addresses their needs….and where there are still areas for improvement.

I wanted to share two brief recollections from my site visits that you may find relevant to our two new projects. I remember visiting a village health fair conducted by our NOURISH project and learning that there are important gaps in people’s health knowledge. To address a common issue – handwashing -- the energetic health workers I met there demonstrated the proper way to wash my hands.  What I really appreciate about this program is the emphasis of the individual’s role in good health. Hygiene and sanitation practices are vitally important elements of a healthy and prosperous Cambodia that will eventually journey beyond the need for foreign assistance. And, during a visit to a health center, I had the opportunity to talk to the hardworking doctors, nurses, and midwives who worked there and hear their stories about caring for the babies who will become Cambodia’s future. I was greatly impressed by how enthusiastic and dedicated they are to serving their communities, and how eager they were to improve their skills in order to improve the quality of the healthcare services they provide.

As you learned from today’s presentation and consultation sessions, the PHB project aims to promote healthy practices among Cambodians by strengthening the national capacity for oversight, accountability, and coordination of health behavior change interventions. It will also strive to reach that goal by improving the ability of individuals to adopt healthy behaviors. The EQHA project hopes to improve the quality of public and private health services by working with healthcare managers and leadership at national and subnational levels. These projects are designed with the United States’ commitment to high standards and transparency, and they will collectively respond to the most pressing health needs of Cambodian people. In addition, their activities are aligned with the strategic priorities of the Ministry of Health’s Health Strategic Plan 3 and the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Rectangular Strategy Phase 4.   

I am glad that such a broad range of key public and private sector stakeholders have come together today to discuss how to address the key healthcare challenges Cambodia is facing. These include:

  • maternal, child and newborn health;
  • family planning;
  • nutrition;
  • water, sanitation, and hygiene;
  • tuberculosis;
  • HIV;
  • and malaria. 

These are critical issues and our collective effort is required to address them.

Your honest feedback from previous consultations and today’s discussions will be used to strengthen the projects’ implementation and ensure their success. Ensuring that Cambodian children grow up healthy is an important element of Cambodia’s journey to self reliance.

Together with our implementing partners FHI360 and PSI, we are looking forward to working closely with all of you to effectively implement the EQHA and PHB projects. From the different Ministry of Health departments and its sub-national networks to donors, the private sector, and community members – we will need your help.

Healthy families are critical for Cambodia’s development and improved productivity. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Ministry of Health for making significant progress in increasing access to health services for the Cambodian people in the past few years. The expansion of social health protection programs for the poor and vulnerable populations, improvements in infrastructure and human resources for health, and increases in financing and leadership at all levels have contributed substantially to this success.  

I would like to close by thanking everyone for your active participation in today’s event. I would also like to express my personal thanks to Her Excellency Dr. Or Vandine, Secretary of State, Ministry of Health who has taken time out of his busy schedule to participate in today’s launch and demonstrate the Ministry of Health’s support for our new projects.

I look forward to our continued collaboration during the implementation of these projects to improve the quality of healthcare and increase healthy behaviors in Cambodia. 

Thank you,

Phnom Penh
Issuing Country 

Last updated: February 28, 2020

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