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URC’s work in Cambodia began with the USAID Quality Assurance Project in 1990, when URC’s not-for-profit affiliate, the Center for Human Services, provided technical assistance and conducted operations research on health care quality improvement (QI).
Our efforts in Cambodia have included support for QI, health systems strengthening, research and evaluation, health communication, and behavior change. Subsequent URC-implemented projects in the country have focused on: malaria; HIV and AIDS; tuberculosis; maternal, newborn, and child health; reproductive health and family planning; and food and nutrition.
For example, the USAID Quality Health Services Project strengthened reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition services. And the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project advanced the frontier of improvement science and improved health care and health systems by strengthening the Health Professions Council.
Notably, since 2002, a series of URC-implemented projects have supported Cambodia’s successful effort to control malaria and move toward elimination of the disease, which the Royal Government of Cambodia (RCG) aims to achieve by 2025.
The URC-led, USAID Cambodia Health Systems Strengthening Project, which began in 2002, enabled the RGC to improve the quality of primary care and hospital services, increase demand for health services, reduce financial barriers to accessing health services, and build provincial and operational district capacity to manage malaria services and social protection programs.
Since 2007, URC has supported the RGC and the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM) to move toward malaria elimination through three consecutive USAID projects:
- Malaria Control in Cambodia (2007-2012), which developed, adapted, and expanded the use of evidence-based interventions for malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment and strengthened malaria program management capacity;
- Control and Prevention of Malaria Project (2012-2016), which consolidated proven malaria interventions, further reducing incidence, and began working with the CNM to envision what malaria elimination would look like; and
- Cambodia Malaria Elimination Project (2016-2021), which further refined the model elimination package and has implemented best practices to address the incidence of malaria in forest areas. Now the project is working with the CNM to scale up the model to a growing number of provinces.
Through implementing these three projects, URC has worked in close partnership with Cambodian health officials – including the national malaria program – to reinforce increased malaria program capacity and performance, which led to greater ownership by the government and communities. The collaborative efforts have increased the motivation of local partners to apply proven interventions and strengthen the malaria control program and the health system at both national and local levels.