Gains in health care

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Daphne Chen

CAM­BO­DIA has made sig­nif­i­cant leaps in im­prov­ing ac­cess to health care for its cit­i­zens, ac­cord­ing to an ex­ten­sive study pub­lished this week, though like other coun­tries world­wide it faces a “chal­leng­ing road” to hit health tar­gets for 2030 set by the United Na­tions.

The study, au­thored by re­searchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton and pub­lished in medical jour­nal the Lancet, mea­sured 37 met­rics rang­ing from vac­ci­na­tion rates to malaria in­ci­dence in 188 coun­tries over 25 years in coun­tries around the world.

In one im­por­tant mea­sure – ac­cess to health care – Cam­bo­dia made note­wor­thy progress, ac­cord­ing to re­searchers. They said the King­dom was among six coun­tries that saw “no­table im­prove­ments” since 2000.

“In Cam­bo­dia, ex­tended health re­forms be­gan in the 1990s, grad­u­ally re­build­ing the coun­try’s health sys­tem,” the au­thors wrote.

How­ever, they added Cam­bo­dia re­mains a low-ranked coun­try over­all. Ac­cord­ing to their health in­dex, it ranks 133rd out of 188 coun­tries – three places be­hind Iraq and one ahead of Ghana.

Myan­mar ranked 140th, Laos 145th, Viet­nam 120th and Thai­land 83rd.

The study’s au­thors ex­pressed con­cern that most coun­tries are pro­jected to miss the UN’s health-re­lated Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals, which were set in 2015, with­out “ex­tra­or­di­nary fi­nan­cial and po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ment by na­tional and in­ter­na­tional agen­cies”.

SAHIBA CHAWDHARY

A staffer at Ph­nom Penh’s Kan­tha Bopha Hos­pi­tal gives free medicine to moth­ers wait­ing for pre­scrip­tions for their chil­dren. Cam­bo­dia con­tin­ues to face chal­lenges to reach health goals set by the United Na­tions for 2030, a study has found.

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