The WHO has announced its readiness to share technical expertise and cooperation with the government of Cambodia to improve the Kingdom’s health sector, particularly in the prevention of communicable diseases.

The sentiment was shared during a June 20 meeting between Prime Minister Hun Manet and WHO regional director for the Western Pacific Saia Ma'u Piukala at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh.

“WHO is ready to share techniques, expertise and cooperation with the government of Cambodia to improve Cambodia’s health sector, in particular, on the prevention of any infectious diseases that may occur in the future,” Piukala said, according to a June 20 statement posted to the prime minister’s social media.

According to the release, he explained that the joint efforts of regional leaders would help prevent possible disease outbreaks. In particular, the 1.9 billion people in the Western Pacific should have access to quality, affordable health care. He added that the WHO will work with all parties, including physically, financially and technically, to ensure that all citizens have better health.

Manet hoped that cooperation between the WHO and the government will contribute to building a resilient health system in Cambodia that will provide affordable and high-quality health services.

The prime minister noted that his government places a high priority on the development of human capital, and highlighted that the health sector plays a key role in this development.

Manet added that the government is bettering the health system by improving national and sub-national hospitals and health centres, as well as constructing new regional hospitals, starting with the pilot operation of regional hospitals in Siem Reap and Kampong Cham provinces.

He said the government is focussed on expanding the provision of health services towards universal health coverage. In order to do so, it is focusing on expanding coverage of social health care systems and strengthening primary care capacity in health centres and district referral hospitals, along with improving the overall quality of health care services.

In May, the government announced the implementation of a roadmap for universal health coverage in Cambodia from 2024-2035.