The Reproductive and Child Health Alliance (RACHA) was created through a partnership formed by USAID/Cambodia of three Global Health Bureau projects, SEATS, BASICS and EngenderHealth which ran from 1996 to 2003. RACHA became a local Non-Governmental Organization in 2003. With seven years international NGO status and 13 years as local NGO, RACHA happily celebrates, in 2016, its two decades of service to the community in improving health and enhancing poor people’s wealth.
Since becoming a local NGO, RACHA has expanded its core projects coverage areas from four to five provinces, from seven to nineteen operational districts and from 94 to 264 health centers, covering 3,347 villages in 349 communes and serving an estimated population of more than 2 million. In 2008-2013, some projects of RACHA, such as the Logistic Management and Information System program, the Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), and the Iron Fortification of Fish/Soy Sauce (IFF/SS) work in as many as twenty-four provinces. The community health support project (CHSP) benefits communities in eight provinces. Core activities in maternal, newborn, child health and family planning have grown to include HIV/AIDS, infectious disease prevention and treatment, drug management, water sanitation and hygiene, and health system strengthening. In 2014 until the present, RACHA continued to widen its CHSP and at the same time implemented various projects funded by different donors. It’s Savings-for Change project targeting women and youth at the community level was successful in addressing feminized poverty at the grassroots level.
On September 30, 2014, RACHA signed a $15 million Cooperative Agreement with USAID for Empowering Communities for Health (ECH) project implemented in nine provinces covering 82 administrative districts, 588 health centers and 7,361 villages. The approach to this project will focus on three key elements that underpin community empowerment: 1. Financial and institutional sustainability, 2. Gender differentiated strategies and activities in communities, 3. Linkages to national level policy makers. With three objectives: i) Strengthen health systems and governance; ii) Improve maternal and child health practices in communities; and iii) Improve effectiveness and efficiency of infectious disease programs (TB) component.
RACHA’s partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH) has been proven productive over the past years. This new project is another opportunity for RACHA to forge close partnership with the respective MoH and also with Ministry of Interior (MoI) at all levels to strengthen social accountability, family planning, maternal, newborn and child health and TB at the community level.
On July 23, 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Department of Health of the Ministry of Health of the government of Myanmar and RACHA for the implementation of Savings for Change and Community Health Support projects initially in rural communities of Yangon.
RACHA will continue to develop programming according to the needs of the communities, and plans to keep growing replicating its successful projects to other parts of Cambodia and outside the country.