RACHA is proud to announce the official inauguration of a brand new health center in Chong Khneas, Siem Reap province on December 3, 2012. The inauguration was attended by over 300 community members and was presided over by His Excellency Mam Bunghen, Minister of Health, His Excellency Sou Phearin, Governor of Siem Reap Province, and the USAID Mission Director in Cambodia, Flynn Fuller, as well as many RACHA staff members.
The health center stands in the middle of Chong Khneas, a convenient location for the many community members living on both land and water in the area. The building has two stories and twelve rooms and is fully equipped with new supplies, including beds, carts, medical instruments, and a micro filter to ensure access to clean water.
The previous health center in Chong Khneas was a small floating structure. Mr. Lon Touch, the Health Center Chief, stated that “after the construction of the new health center, more clients are coming to the health center to receive care. We have seen more pregnant women in particular, coming not only to deliver, but also for ante and post natal care. Everything is new in this building and it is much more accessible to all clients. The previous floating health center was too small and hard to access; a narrow ramp over water was difficult for pregnant women and ill clients to manage. With the appropriate services, we are now able to accommodate all community members who require health care and services”.
Due to frequent flooding and poor access to clean water, many people living in Chong Khneas are susceptible to various health problems. According to the health center’s data, the staff here treats over 600 cases each month and is able to provide free care to over 200 of them. The health center offers all services free of charge to those who cannot afford to pay, including but not limited to ante and post natal care, safe delivery, birth spacing through intrauterine device, and general consultations and exams. Over 6.600 people living in Chong Khneas have access to this health center’s services, which is located 14 kilometers form Siem Reap city on the Tonle Sap.
Mr. Flynn Fuller, USAID Mission Director, states that "we are moving towards a healthier Cambodia and facilities like this one are the foundation that will help us avoid any more mothers dying while brining life into this world. Well-functioning health centers like this will prevent another premature Cambodian child death’".
RACHA, with support from USAID, has been supporting this health center since 2004, when RACHA assisted in the renovation of the original health center, which was a small wooden floating structure. Additionally, RACHA has continued to provide technical support to health center staff, including but not limited to training midwives in life saving skills and neonatal resuscitation, birth spacing consultations, and the prevention and treatment of childhood diseases.
In addition to offering technical training, RACHA cooperates with the Chong Khneas Commune Council to create credit schemes in the community to improve individual living standards and allow community members access to more funds. A portion of the interested earned from these schemes goes to health promotion activities in the community and helps to keep the health center running. RACHA, with USAID support, also constructed a floating drinking water station in Chong Khneas in 2009, which provides safe and easily accessible water to all community members.
The completion of this health center adds to an impressive list of RACHA's achievements in Cambodian recent years. While continuing to provide technical training and health services across the country, RACHA has renovated 32 waiting and delivery rooms and constructed five new drinking water stations in the last three years.