Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but unequal distribution of economic gains means many Cambodians still struggle to access quality, affordable essential health services. Contributing to Cambodia's health system is a priority for the Australian Government. In partnership with the World Bank, Australia has helped to improve health service delivery, financial protection and equity for poor Cambodians.
Infectious disease outbreaks still burden many Cambodian families; outbreaks also hold back economic growth by lowering workforce participation and reducing workers' productivity. With rural household living in close quarters with animals and an increase in intensive poultry framing and piggeries, outbreaks of zoonotic diseases are another risk to health and livelihoods.
The Government of Cambodia has shown a strong commitment to building its health security capacity, through early uptake of the Joint External Evaluations (JEEs) and development of a costed national action plan. The 2016 JEE in Cambodia found variable capacity in laboratory systems and workforce development and major gaps in emergency response operations.
Planned support from the Centre for Health Security focuses on systems strengthening activities based on the Centre’s 2018 Southeast Asia Scoping Report recommendations, while also building specific capacities to prevent, detect and control disease outbreaks. We are currently supporting an Australian National University ASEAN Fellow and capacity building in drug and medical test regulation through Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. Future activities are likely to include laboratory strengthening, incident management and workforce development in human and animal health..
In March 2019, DFAT opened a call for proposals under the Health Security Initiative for country-specific and multi-country activities to strengthen infectious disease detection, prevention and response in the Indo-Pacific region. Two streams of funding have been established:
- The Pacific Infectious Disease Prevention (PIDP) program - $25 million over 2019-2022.
- The ASEAN-Pacific Infectious Disease Detection and Response (APIDDaR) program - $28 million over 2019-2022.
As at November 2019, the Centre for Health Security is undertaking a collaborative design process with a group of preferred partner organisations, who were selected on the basis of demonstrated organisational capacity and activity concepts.
The following programs supported under the Health Security Initiative include Cambodia as one of the target countries:
Country & Regional
Supporting national medicines regulatory authorities to work together effectively improves the impact and safety of medical products through more efficient regulation. To this end, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration is working with key Indo-Pacific counterpart authorities to improve regulatory systems and processes, including through sharing regulatory information.
Tupaia combines data from multiple sources to help improve the availability of medicines, map disease outbreaks, respond to disasters and strengthen service provision in the Indo-Pacific.
In partnership with the Australian National University (ANU), the Fellowships program aims to build high-level skills and expertise in epidemiology. Fellows are supporting the work of the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia, the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology in Laos and other regional institution.
A high-level initiative for collective action to eliminate malaria across Asia and the Pacific by 2030. The APLMA/APMEN Secretariat delivers its objectives through advocacy and outreach; fostering and strengthening partnerships and innovation; and providing policy guidance.