Build an environment that makes good health possible
UNICEF works with the government to address policy and budget gaps, so that mothers and children in Cambodia can access quality healthcare. Having reliable data is the key to getting the right results. Helping local and national government bodies gather and use information effectively is one of the most powerful ways of ensuring that when policies and strategies are formed, they are based on the right data, and that Cambodian children and women will benefit from the resulting health services.
Fill health gaps
The private sector in Cambodia is an influential ally and we continue to use its power to improve health and nutrition services. We help negotiate agreements between the Ministry of Health and the private sector to make sure that local suppliers do not face barriers when getting locally produced health supplies on to the market, and that the products they supply are affordable for all. These essential health and nutrition supplies treat children who are severely malnourished.
For thousands of women and children, emergency obstetric and newborn care can mean the difference between life and death. Together with our partners, we provide technical training so that health workers have the skills they need to offer quality, life-saving care. We train village health support groups and authorities at the local level on how to coordinate and plan their health services, and how to deliver them effectively.
Create a demand for health
Citizens can be powerful agents for change, so we use outreach activities to reach people living in remote and poorly served areas. Many people still use traditional healers or birth attendants, which can have negative consequences. Our health and nutrition sessions promote good practices, and focus on the importance of seeking services from qualified health practitioners. By mobilizing communities and stimulating their engagement, we can encourage people to change how they seek help, and to demand quality services.
The potential for changing perceptions, and therefore behaviours, is enormous. Together with our partners, we teach pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, mothers, caregivers, families and communities. We do research on social and gender norms that are detrimental to health so we can understand where challenges lie, and we promote important messages on safe health and nutrition.
Changing perceptions is the first step towards changing behaviours. This can mean the difference between a woman delivering her baby with a midwife in a hospital or with a traditional birth attendant at home, or between her visiting a clinic for routine, life-saving health check ups for her baby or not having her baby checked after birth. And it can save lives.
Nurture children’s growth with proper nutrition
Good nutrition is the bedrock of child survival, health and development. We work closely with authorities from national to local level, as well as healthcare providers and communities to improve nutrition, so that children in Cambodia are well fed and healthy.
Our work includes promoting locally sourced nutrition products; setting up systems to track consumption of iodized salt; collecting age- and sex-disaggregated data on acute malnutrition to target girls and boys who most need treatment; developing e-mapping tools to monitor and improve performance in health centres; and training health staff to offer nutrition counselling and complementary feeding.
A wholesome nutrition system requires sound legislation. This is why we also support the government to develop policies related to food and health, such as minors purchasing alcohol and cigarettes, preventing people from becoming overweight, and food safety.