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Child Health Interventions (Cambodia)

Local Health Education Interventions to Reduce Child Morbidity

The Project: Intervention and community education to significantly improve health and outcomes for young children in Cambodia

The Story: Poor, rural children in Cambodia are at three times greater risk of death before age 5 than their urban counterparts, with preventable illnesses and infections being some of the leading causes of these untimely deaths (Source: World Health Organization). And, while improvements are being made, 37% of Cambodian children, the majority of them being in these rural areas, are experiencing moderate to severe stunting as a result of malnutrition. In partnership with Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC), which has been working to improve healthcare in Cambodia since 1999, YP Foundation is supporting intervention strategies designed to directly address health inequalities and help rural children in the Chi Kraeng and Sotnikum District of Siem Reap Province, not only survive childhood but thrive.

The intervention project will be implemented across 62 villages and within 36 schools to provide comprehensive health, hygiene, and nutrition screening to children and education for children and those who care for them and is two-pronged:

In schools, with basic health education, school health/hygiene curricula, screenings, dental checks, eye checks, teacher trainings, and peer-to-peer education. School-based interventions can influence young Cambodians, helping them to foster lifelong habits in children that will support their long-term health.
In the larger community, with village-based interventions that focus on educating children, villagers and community leaders, and gatekeepers. Community interventions include health promotion events that directly involve children and feature health, hygiene, and nutrition messaging, provided through monthly drama and cinema shows. This approach provides key education in a light-hearted and engaging environment.
To enhance mobile access to these health initiatives, the project includes a multipurpose Treatment, Education, and Prevention Truck (TEP Truck) that visits schools to assure quality medical care and health education is brought directly to children in the community.

Latest Updates: While Cambodia, fortunately, escaped 2020 without a full outbreak of COVID-19, the pandemic still had a significant impact on children and families. And, despite disruptions seen in the implementation of initially planned project activities, co-funding from the YP Foundation helped to enable AHC community teams to swiftly adjust their activities in response to the urgent need to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Programs were created and administered that centered around building knowledge regarding the spread of the virus to help reduce fears and empower rural communities in the fight against COVID-19.

In addition to this, some of the other key program accomplishments from 2020 include:

Treatment and Health Education to School Children

During the first quarter of 2020, before the global pandemic, AHC community teams worked in primary schools to deliver dental treatments, vision screenings, and educational sessions on various vital health topics to school students and teachers. Teachers were also provided with essential first aid training to help them respond to common accidents and emergencies in schools.

285 teachers received five first aid training sessions
190 teachers participated in 6 first aid refresher training sessions
4,726 students obtained 21 eye care education sessions
810 students received three dental health education sessions, including oral care education and fluoride mouth rinse
4,243 primary school students received 30 health and hygiene education sessions
Capacity Building of Rural Community Workers

Capacity-building initiatives designed to support better health practices within existing community infrastructures to improve healthcare provision sustainability were also implemented across five communes in Cambodia. However, due to the pandemic, activities were paused from April to May 2020 before recommencing in June 2020.

117 volunteers were trained to conduct nutrition and malnutrition screenings in villages
76 volunteers received basic healthcare refresher training
63 volunteers participated in management training
10 health centers had minor infrastructure repairs
Empowering Villagers to Take Charge of Children’s Health

During 2020, village-based activities such as education sessions to aid in the high incidence of malnutrition across villages were implemented. This also provided an opportunity to help identify at-risk children suffering from malnutrition who require medical attention and further nutrition education/support for their caregivers.

842 children under the age of five were screened for Moderate Acute Malnutrition and Severe Acute Malnutrition
40 children with Moderate Acute Malnutrition received follow up sessions
14,712 villagers were provided with primary health education
1,888 participants in target villages received 24 nutrition and cooking demonstration sessions
The Future: The YP Foundation plans to continue co-funding this project into 2021-2022, with services focusing on addressing health inequalities, hygiene education, and a continued focus on the prevention of COVID-19. This year, AHC’s community outreach programs are also prioritizing the expansion into the Srei Snam district due to its remote location, underdeveloped economy, and poor access to healthcare resources.

Power in Numbers







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