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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

Cambodian Law on Drug Control

Friday, June 24, 2011

Community Mapping for Remote Areas​ in Cambodia

In the age of globalization and development in the country, Cambodia has hastily been improving various sectors through the frog-step development of the government. Within the public health service, it remains insufficient, especially for the poor. The utilization rate in most public health facilities is low because facilities are poorly equipped, far-away health centers, lack of drugs, low quality of services, and inhospitable service providers mainly in the remote villages of provinces. Among those pity villages, Lac 62 village in Kam Rieng District, Battambang province, has faced some of these difficulties such as long distant road to the health center, more frequencies of visiting health center, and lack of transportation. Due to the far-way distant from the village, information and communication between community and health center becomes feeble. Pregnant women or ill people are hard to reach the health center in case of emergency. Village Help Support Group (VHSG) is inactive mostly and mumbles because of their family income. Some of them decided to migrate to other provinces or across the border to Thailand for earning their living. In this response, relevant government institutions should establish staying rooms nearby health centers to keep patients or pregnant women from returning home without receiving the health services. Development partners and relevant organizations should support the incentive or other motivation to VHSG for referring patients and participating in any meetings with health centers.

Village Health Support Group (VHSG) in Cambodia

Village Health Support Group (VHSG) is a volunteer people who are working to support implementation of community-based health activities such as referring patients in the community to health center, referral hospital, or operational district, mostly based in village to provincial levels in Cambodia.

The VHSG Members in each village were be determined jointly by the community, the OD, and the HCMC. The VHSG Leader and members are formally recognized by the local heath authorities.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Clients and Providers Rights in Cambodia

[BATTAMBANG] Catholic Relief Services (CRS)  in cooperation with HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee (HACC) hosted the Training of Trainer on the community advocacy, role and responsibilities, Clients’ and Providers’ Rights of Village Help Support Group (VHSG) and Health Center Management Committee (HCMC) on 20-26 June 2011 in Epidemic Centre in Battambang province. The training was facilitated by consultants with participation from 34 participants (3 females) from Sub-Sub Recipients (SSR) of HACC and CRS.

Participants were encouraged to share experiences and lesson learnt from its organizations, particularly better practices in working with Health Center (HC), HCMC, commune councils, local authorities, and VHSG. There were 3 main lessons for future trainers included Role and Responsibilities, Clients’ and Providers’ Rights, and Community Advocacy. The training was supported by CRS and HACC under Global Fund through PR-MoH. Participants in this training will be the Trainers in their communities to provide training to VHSG and communities they are working with.

Roles and Responsibilities
1. Introduction of Community Participation in Health Sector
2. Roles and Responsibilities of Village Help Support Group
3. Roles and Responsibilities of Health Center Management Committee
4. Coordination Skill
5. Communication
6. Referral System
7. Supporting Governance
8. Monitoring Check List
9. Decision Making
10. Incentive Package

Clients’ Rights
  1.  the right to information -you have the right to learn(receive) the information about your health issue, treatments and choosing health care service. 
  2. the right to (receive) services -you have the right to receive health care services regardless sex, belief, religion, ethnic origin, the rich or the poor, marital status or where you live. 
  3. the right to choice -you have the right to make the free decision to receive or not to receive health care services and to choose any birth spacing method which is appropriate for you. 
  4. the right to safety -you have the right to obtain health care services which are safe and effective from trained health worker. 
  5. the right to privacy -you have the right to receive health care services or consultations in a private place 
  6. the right to confidentiality -you have the right to have all your personal information kept confidential 
  7. the right to dignity -you have the right to be treated with courtesy, respect and attention 
  8. the right to comfort -you have the right to receive comfortable feeling both physically and mentally during receiving health care service 
  9. the right to continuity -you have the right to continue to receive health care services for as long as needed 
  10. the right to express opinions -you have the right to express your opinions about the service
Provider’s Rights
  1. Right to full and accurate information related to the client's health issues 
  2. Right to provide treatment and health care service regardless sex, belief, religion, ethnic origin, the rich or the poor, marital status or place of living. 
  3. Right to decide about the method of treatment and health care which is medically sound for the client 
  4. Right to provide safe treatment and health care service which is medically sound 
  5. Right to provide treatment and health care service in a private place 
  6. Right to keep medical records of the client confidential 
  7. Right to receive respect and dignity from the client 
  8. Right to have an appropriate and comfortable place in providing treatment and health care service for the client 
  9. Right to stop or continue treatment or to refer client medically sound 
  10. Right to clarify to the client about the provision of treatment and health care service

Friday, June 17, 2011

CSOs Constraining of HIV/AIDS Laws and Policy Implementation

Cambodia’s own extraordinary achievements were recognized at the United Nations Millennium Development Goal Summit in September 2010 in halting and reversing HIV with the presentation to the Royal Government of a well deserved Millennium Development Goal Award. However, the government institutions and the civil society organizations are still worried about the second wave of HIV epidemic through Men Who have Sex with Men (MSM), Entertaining Workers (EWs), Drug Users/Injecting Drug Users (IDU/DU), Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC), and Most-at-Risk Population (MARPs). With these concerns, NGOs are trying to mobilize the resources and to do fundraising for program implementation, particularly in the grassroots level.

Result from the forum discussion organized HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee (HACC) with the present of National AIDS Authority (NAA) in Siem Reap province; it was found that there were some challenges facing the community involving with government’s policy and laws. There are laws, a policy, and Prakas for implementing the prevention of HIV and AIDS which were seemingly controversial:
  1. Law on the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS
  2. Law on Drug Control
  3. Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation
  4. Prakas 66 of the Government on 100% Condom Use Program (100% CUP)
  5. Village/Commune Safety Policy
There should be more dissemination, explanation, and education from interrelated ministries, provincial departments, provincial AIDS Committee, NAA, HACC, NGOs, commander in chief in chief, and court in order to clarify and respond to implementing actors and people’s concerns.

The Concern of Adult OVC in HIV Transmission

On 13 June 2011, HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee (HACC) organized the regional forum discussion between NGOs and National AIDS Authority (NAA) in Siem Reap province with aiming at providing the opportunity to NGOs to raise their concern and issues from the grassroots levels to solve those issues within local authorities and national levels. Notably, a concern was lifting up pertaining to the adult of OVC. Recently, more than thousand OVC become adult and aged over 18 in Siem Reap province.

Some are look healthy and beautiful. As reported from local NGOs during the regional forum discussion, it was found that some OVC wish to get married for a family in which it is the concern of HIV transmission to their partner and some did not show off their status because of the fear of breaking relationship or losing their lover. Not in response, the local NGOs have not yet had any intervention besides providing counseling about the risks to them before get married.

It’s the new concern of the second wave that NGOs, development partners, and relevant institutions should take immediate action to prevent the widespread transmission among OVC and their partners. The common messages for counseling should be provided and the action should be taken punctually.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Meeting on Implementation of Prakas No. 66 in Battambang

[BATTAMBANG] National AIDS Authority (NAA) organized the series of meetings to disseminate and strengthen the implementation of Prakas 66 and NAA’s decision No. 482. The meeting was organized on 15 June 2011 at Kemara Battambang Hotel with approximately 150 participants from Provincial AIDS Committee (PAC), owners of establishments and beer gardens, police, local authorities, court, deputy commander in chief and NGOs.

H.E Kim Norn, a Provincial Governor of Battambang province, delivered a welcome speech and updated the achievement of implementing the Prakas 66 in Battambang province. Local authorities cooperated with owners of establishments to implement the Prakas 66 such as encouraging the owners to send their employees to do VCCT. Furthermore, PAC cooperated with NAA to facilitate the implementation of Prakas 66. Within this progress, there were some remaining challenges and issues which altogether need to solve. He also encouraged participants to raise the questions which are concerning to the obstacles to the guest speakers for finding common solutions and solve together.

H.E Dr. Chea Som An, Deputy Director of National AIDS Authority, addressed the speech and opened the meeting. He repeatedly mentioned the objectives of this meeting. Because HIV/AIDS remained the concern of the world and the apprehension of the appeared second wave, National AIDS Authority endeavored to disseminate and strengthen the implementation of effective Prakas 66, particularly among the establishments, beer gardens, and Karaoke clubs.

Prakas 66 was framed and distributed to owners of establishments, beer gardens, guest houses, Karaoke, and clubs and then the meeting was closed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Meeting on Implementation of Prakas No. 66 in Siem Reap

[SIEM REAP] On 14 June 2011, National AIDS Authority (NAA) organized a meeting on “Dissemination and Strengthening the Implementation of Prakas No. 66” at Cozyna Hotel, Siem Reap province. The objectives of the meeting are to disseminate and strengthen the implementation of Prakas 66 of government and the decision No. 482 of NAA and to implement successfully the 100% Condom Use Program (100% CUP). The meeting presided over by H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen, vice-chair secretary general of NAA, and around 150 participants came from owners of entertainment establishments and beer gardens, police, local authorities, provincial AIDS committee, and relevant authorities, joint this meeting.

Welcomed speech by H.E Mao Vuthy, Director of Provincial AIDS Committee and deputy governor of Siem Reap province, addressing that he was appreciate to participate in this meeting and to clarify the confusion of using Prakas 66. The meeting is a kind of activities to prevent the HIV epidemic.

H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen, Vice Chair of NAA, welcomed speech and opened the meeting. In this occasion, he would like to thank all development partners, stakeholders, and civil societies for mutually working to achieve the award from United Nation Award on Millennium Development Goal 6 (MDG6). Without the participation from local authorities, owners of establishment, and beer garden, the result of HIV epidemic reduction could not be achieved. 

Prakas 66 on 100% CUP is a main guide to pave the way for implementers. Remaining a concern of second wave which may be occurred such as the increase of Entertaining Workers (EWs), Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and Drug users/Injecting Drug users, NAA conducted this meeting to disseminate the decision and to share experiences and challenges during the implementation in which it may occur.

Many questions were raised related to the condoms existing in place and concerning the accusation by police. All questions were answered by guest speakers.
-          Ask if police used condoms as evidences, what can the owners of establishment do? Answering by deputy governor and as a Provincial AIDS Committee, H.E Mao Vuthy and deputy secretary general Dr. Ros Seilavath, saying that when facing this problem, the owners of establishment should report to him for intervention. However, he mentioned that only the case related to condom uses regardless rape, drug uses, minor rape, and other activities which are not relevant to 100% Condom Use Program. In addition, he strongly supported and encouraged all owners of entertainment establishments to keep condoms available in places.
-          PAC has no budget support for coordination among stakeholders and local authorities, how can the coordination be done?  According to recommendation of H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen, the budget to support the coordination of PAC is now available; he suggested PAC make a request to NAA for this budget.
-          What is the intervention on MSM in foreign restaurants? Answering by participants, there are networks and peers to educate those MSMs in which recently 1183 MSM are existing in Siem Reap province.
-          What will happen if the owners of establishment did not display condoms? Answering by H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen, there is no any accusation of not displaying the condoms; however, it is the law in which altogether need to contribute to the reduction of HIV epidemic.
-          How many organizations are working to disseminate the condom use and what is the identity to show the promotion team? Answering by Mr. Nou Sovann, PSI has a team to promote the condom uses in the target areas in Siem Reap province and PSI also got approval from the owners to do the activities.

-          Owners of establishment suggested that PSI should make the presentation of condom display boxes and slides in the establishments to testify that there have no trafficking activities. The slides shall be approved from the governor or deputy governor of Siem Reap province with the coordination of PSI. The suggestion has been accepted for consideration from PSI and Governor.

H.E Mao Vuthy and H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen strongly supported all owners of establishments to have condoms in places. According to Dr. Ros Seilavath, there were three laws concerning to the HIV prevention such as Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, Law on Drug Control, and Village/Commune Safety Policy. Pertaining to the use of condoms as the evidence is not stated in any law. It may have hidden information behind the issues, he added.

In addition, there were presentations of the achievement of PSI on the promotional team for condom uses and figures of target groups. To be more confident of implementing 100% CUP, Dr. Sieng Sorya, deputy secretary general of NAA, read the Prakas 66 and NAA’s decision No. 482. Participants were encouragingly given a floor to raise questions and concerns for the meeting.

Finally, H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen wrapped up and closed the meeting with some recommendations. He raised challenges which have been faced.
1.       Some owners of establishment didn’t implement Prakas 66 on 100% CUP fully.
2.       Some owners of entertainment establishment remained afraid of conviction of storing condoms in their places.
3.       The staff did not have accurate figure of condom uses.

Seeing these obstacles, NAA and PSI coordinated this meeting today to disseminate and strengthen the implementation in sub-national levels among public and private sectors. H.E Dr. Sim Kimsen recommended that:
  • All owners should fully implement the 100% CUP in all establishments. This is the contribution to achieve the reduction of HIV epidemic.
  • All owners are encouraged to implement the 100% CUP without the intervention of trafficking by using condom as evidence.
  • All owners should cooperate with local authorities, especially the Provincial AIDS Secretariat for doing this activity.
  • All owners should send their employee to do testing (VCCT) in order to avoid the transmission of disease.
He also recommended PAC to implement the Prakas 66 successfully with participations from all owners of establishment, NGOs, and relevant local authorities. 

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