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Thursday, August 1, 2013

KOICA to Support UNICEF with $3.4M to ImproveMaternal and Newborn Health Among Deprived Populations in Cambodia

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Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA, 30 July 2013 –Mothers and their newborns, and children under five in the most deprived areas of Cambodia will benefit from interventions to improve their health thanks to funding of US$3.4 million from the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) under a joint partnership with the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.
 
Over the next three years, the funding will be used by UNICEFto contribute to the achievement of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Health Strategic Plan 2 (HSP2) 2008-2015, by improving access to essential maternal and newborn health and better family care practices,andimproving the nutritional status of women and children in 14 health operational districts in the provinces of Kratie, Stung Treng, RattanakKiri, MondulKiri, Kampong Thom, PreasVihear, Kampong Speu and Phnom Penh.

Although Cambodia is on track to reach its Millennium Development Goal 4 to reduce child mortality, levels in Cambodia remain high by regional standards. Every day, an estimated 50 children under the age of 5 die mainly from preventable and treatable diseases, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. Three out of 4 of newborn deaths occur in their first week of life, especially during the first day, largely due to complications at birth and lack of postpartum care.In the poorest and most marginalized communities children are three times more likely to die before the age of 5 than a child in urban Phnom Penh.

At the signing ceremony for the partnership agreement, KOICA Representative in Cambodia, Dr. Shin EuiCheol said, “This unique partnership allows us to effectively assist Cambodia in tackling one of the most difficult challenges by combining Korea’s financial and human resources with UNICEF expertise”.
In response, UNICEF Representative to Cambodia, Rana Flowers said,“This financial contribution will improve the health status of all children but especially the most vulnerable newborns and their families living in high risk villages including mobile, ethnic minority, remote and poor populations.This partnership combines our technical and strategic strengths to increase both the supply of and demand for quality health care as well as accelerate the implementation of high impact maternal, newborn and child health services where they are most needed.” 

The KOICA/UNICEF partnership will support the expansionespecially in high risk villages – of evidence-based and cost-effective interventionsincludingtraining of health workers to strengthen careand referral mechanisms, low-cost outreach and community-based programmes;delivery by skilled birth attendants; birth preparedness to detect complicationsand danger signs during pregnancy;provision of immediate post-partum care; timely and quality counseling and referral to and among health facilities for families with newborns and young children; routine use of Health Information System (HIS) data to plan and provide health services in the community;promotion and dissemination of information on appropriate practices for mothers to seek treatment and referral for sick children.

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