As the principal donor and worldwide partner of the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), UNICEF has provided the Ministry of Health with $7 million of oxygen therapy medical equipment.
A handover ceremony took place on June 12 at the World Food Programme Warehouse.
According to a UNICEF press release, the equipment donated includes oxygen concentrators, patient monitors, pulse oximeters, resuscitators, and other oxygen therapy accessories.
It added that all of the equipment will be distributed to 131 health facilities, including national, provincial and district hospitals, and health centres across the country in the coming weeks.
“These supplies will ensure that patients, including children, who require oxygen therapy can receive life-saving treatment for respiratory illnesses and other conditions, such as hypoxemia in newborns.”
Dr Will Parks, UNICEF Representative in Cambodia, said, “We are proud to play a part globally in addressing this equity gap, while also enhancing Cambodia’s capacity for life-saving measures for children and their families.”
He continued that as part of pandemic recovery, UNICEF remains committed to supporting the government in ensuring quality and equitable access to primary health care, so all children have a better chance to reach their full potential.
Youk Sambath, Secretary of State, Ministry of Health, said, “We thank UNICEF for their valuable support in effectively addressing the Covid-19 crisis and ensuring uninterrupted access to essential healthcare services for women and children, such as routine immunisation and maternal and neonatal care.”
She added, “Our partnership with UNICEF helps enhance our healthcare infrastructure and boost human resource development. Today's contribution of oxygen medical supplies is a step towards upgrading our medical equipment and monitoring system, which can reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates.”
UNECEF played a major role in donating to strengthen Cambodia's health system for impartial primary health care following the critical phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since quarantine started in 2020, UNICEF has provided more than $44 million in medical supplies and cold cable equipment, vaccines and medicines to support partners, such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the governments of Japan, Australia, and Czechia.
The proportion of newborn deaths in children under five-years-old still remains high. Newborn deaths make up almost half of child under-five deaths, a proportion that has not decreased during the past years, according to the recent Demographic Health Survey (2021-2022).