Enhancing health programme efficiency: a Cambodian case study.
In 1995, the Cambodian Urban Health Care Association (CUHCA) was set up as facilitator between private health care providers and patients, guaranteeing good quality health care and fair pricing to patients and providing training and logistic support to providers. Providers were engaged on a fee-for-service basis and competition encouraged. CUHCA's objectives followed the same line of thought as the 1993 World Development Report, aiming at influencing the unregulated private health care market through competition mechanisms. But soon after the start of the project the basic problem was recognized to be not the absence of effective government regulation but rather that consumers lack the requisite knowledge to make good choices in the market for health services. CUHCA had not adequately addressed the demand for health services. The original supply-side strategy of improving health services by increasing competition was a failure. In order to improve CUHCA's health programme efficiency the association's objectives were subsequently redefined and its functioning reorganized. CUHCA now tries to educate consumers and provides good quality services so that consumers will be able to act on the basis of their newly acquired knowledge. CUHCA's health centres serve as model clinics for first-line health care. Community educators organize information, education and communication (IEC) activities. Staff help school teachers to improve formal health education in schools and CUHCA assists local leaders in sanitation development. Only full-time personnel are employed, encouraging team spirit and communication with the target population. Salaries are based on team performance. The CUHCA programme demonstrates that, depending on the market situation, health programme models need to address both the supply and the demand for services in order to be efficient. Where consumers lack essential knowledge to make appropriate choices in the health service market, interventions should focus on health education and social marketing and provide models of quality care catering to informed consumer choice. (+info)
Mental health care in Cambodia.
An effort is being made in Cambodia to involve grass-roots personnel in the integration of the care of the mentally ill into a broad framework of health services. This undertaking is examined with particular reference to the work of the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization. (+info)
Cervical cancer screening among Cambodian-American women.
Southeast Asian women have higher invasive cervical cancer incidence rates and lower Pap testing frequencies than most other racial/ethnic groups in the United States. However, there is little information about the cervical cancer screening behavior of Cambodian-American women. Cambodian residents of Seattle were surveyed in person during late 1997 and early 1998. The PRECEDE model was used to guide the development of items that assessed predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors associated with cervical cancer screening participation. The estimated overall survey response was 72%. Four hundred thirteen women completed our questionnaire. Approximately one-quarter (24%) of the respondents had never had a Pap test, and over one-half (53%) had not been screened recently. The following variables were positively associated with a history of at least one Pap smear: younger age, greater number of years since immigration, belief about Pap testing for postmenopausal women, prenatal care in the United States, and physician recommendation. Women who believed in karma were less likely to have ever been screened for cervical cancer than those who did not. Six variables independently predicted recent screening: age; beliefs about regular checkups, cervical cancer screening for sexually inactive women, and the prolongation of life; having a female doctor; and a previous physician recommendation for Pap testing. The study findings indicate that culturally specific approaches might be effective in modifying the cervical cancer screening behavior of immigrant women. Programs targeting Cambodian-Americans are likely to be more effective if they are multifaceted and simultaneously address predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors. (+info)
Sexual behaviour of commercial sex workers and their clients in Cambodia. Japan-Cambodia Collaborating Research Group.
OBJECTIVE: This study surveyed the sexual behaviour of commercial sex workers and their clients in an attempt to identify factors of transmission of STDs (including HIV/AIDS) and to control their epidemics in Cambodia and South-East Asia. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Trained questioners asked items of the questionnaires to each objective subject in December 1996. Data were analysed to show the descriptive status by risk group of each person. PARTICIPANTS: 200 direct commercial sex workers, 220 indirect commercial sex workers, and 211 clients in Phnom Penh. RESULTS: Prostitution was widely accepted by both young males and females, and this was an easy way for young girls to obtain money. Although commercial sex workers and clients were knowledgeable about prevention methods against STDs, they seldom used condoms. Some commercial sex workers had been infected with STDs many times, and many of them incompletely treated the diseases by themselves. Social support from governmental and non-governmental organisation was poor. CONCLUSIONS: It is very important to support both commercial sex workers in practicing preventive methods against STDs and also visiting physicians when they notice symptoms of STDs. It is strongly recommended that not only governmental but also non-governmental organisations should be more active in this area. (+info)
Circumstances around weapon injury in Cambodia after departure of a peacekeeping force: prospective cohort study.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the circumstances surrounding weapon injury and combatant status of those injured by weapons. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Northwestern Cambodia after departure of United Nations peacekeeping force. SUBJECTS: 863 people admitted to hospital for weapon injuries over 12 months. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Annual incidence of weapon injury by time period; proportions of injuries inflicted as a result of interfactional combat (combat injuries) and outside such combat (non-combat injuries) by combatant status and weapon type. RESULTS: The annual incidence of weapon injuries was higher than the rate observed before the peacekeeping operation. 30% of weapon injuries occurred in contexts other than interfactional combat. Most commonly these were firearm injuries inflicted intentionally on civilians. Civilians accounted for 71% of those with non-combat injuries, 42% of those with combat related injuries, and 51% of those with weapon injuries of either type. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of weapon injuries remained high when the disarmament component of a peacekeeping operation achieved only limited success. Furthermore, injuries occurring outside the context of interfactional combat accounted for a substantial proportion of all weapon injuries, were experienced disproportionately by civilians, and were most likely to entail the intentional use of a firearm against a civilian. (+info)
Foci of Schistosomiasis mekongi, Northern Cambodia: II. Distribution of infection and morbidity.
In the province of Kracheh, in Northern Cambodia, a baseline epidemiological survey on Schistosoma mekongi was conducted along the Mekong River between December 1994 and April 1995. The results of household surveys of highly affected villages of the East and the West bank of the river and of school surveys in 20 primary schools are presented. In household surveys 1396 people were examined. An overall prevalence of infection of 49.3% was detected by a single stool examination with the Kato-Katz technique. The overall intensity of infection was 118.2 eggs per gram of stool (epg). There was no difference between the population of the east and west shore of the Mekong for prevalence (P = 0.3) or intensity (P = 0.9) of infection. Severe morbidity was very frequent. Hepatomegaly of the left lobe was detected in 48.7% of the population. Splenomegaly was seen in 26.8% of the study participants. Visible diverted circulation was found in 7.2% of the population, and ascites in 0.1%. Significantly more hepatomegaly (P = 0.001), splenomegaly (P = 0. 001) and patients with diverted circulation (P = 0.001) were present on the west bank of the Mekong. The age group of 10-14 years was most affected. The prevalence of infection in this group was 71.8% and 71.9% in the population of the West and East of the Mekong, respectively. The intensity of infection was 172.4 and 194.2 epg on the West and the East bank, respectively. In the peak age group hepatomegaly reached a prevalence of 88.1% on the west and 82.8% on the east bank. In the 20 schools 2391 children aged 6-16 years were examined. The overall prevalence of infection was 40.0%, ranging from 7.7% to 72.9% per school. The overalls mean intensity of infection was 110.1 epg (range by school: 26.7-187.5 epg). Both prevalence (P = 0.001) and intensity of infection (P = 0.001) were significantly higher in schools on the east side of the Mekong. Hepatomegaly (55.2%), splenomegaly (23.6%), diverted circulation (4. 1%), ascites (0.5%), reported blood (26.7%) and mucus (24.3%) were very frequent. Hepatomegaly (P = 0.001), splenomegaly (P = 0.001), diverted circulation (P = 0.001) and blood in stool (P = 0.001) were significantly more frequent in schools of the east side of the Mekong. Boys suffered more frequently from splenomegaly (P = 0.05), ascites (P = 0.05) and bloody stools (P = 0.004) than girls. No difference in sex was found for the prevalence and intensity of infection and prevalence of hepatomegaly. On the school level prevalence and intensity of infection were highly associated (r = 0. 93, P = 0.0001). The intensity of infection was significantly associated only with the prevalence of hepatomegaly (r = 0.44, P = 0. 05) and blood in stool (r = 0.40, P = 0.02). This comprehensive epidemiological study documents for the first time the public health importance of schistosomiasis mekongi in the Province of Kracheh, Northern Cambodia and points at key epidemiological features of this schistosome species, in particular the high level of morbidity associated with infection. (+info)
Rehabilitating health services in Cambodia: the challenge of coordination in chronic political emergencies.
The end of the Cold War brought with it opportunities to resolve a number of conflicts around the world, including those in Angola, Cambodia, El Salvador and Mozambique. International political efforts to negotiate peace in these countries were accompanied by significant aid programmes ostensibly designed to redress the worst effects of conflict and to contribute to the consolidation of peace. Such periods of political transition, and associated aid inflows, constitute an opportunity to improve health services in countries whose health indicators have been among the worst in the world and where access to basic health services is significantly diminished by war. This paper analyzes the particular constraints to effective coordination of health sector aid in situations of 'post'-conflict transition. These include: the uncertain legitimacy and competence of state structures; donor choice of implementing channels; and actions by national and international political actors which served to undermine coordination mechanisms in order to further their respective agendas. These obstacles hindered efforts by health professionals to establish an effective coordination regime, for example, through NGO mapping and the establishment of aid coordinating committees at national and provincial levels. These technical measures were unable to address the basic constitutional question of who had the authority to determine the distribution of scarce resources during a period of transition in political authority. The peculiar difficulties of establishing effective coordination mechanisms are important to address if the long-term effectiveness of rehabilitation aid is to be enhanced. (+info)
Cross-sectional study on risk factors of HIV among female commercial sex workers in Cambodia.
To describe epidemiological features on HIV prevalence among female commercial sex workers (CSWs), a cross-sectional study on sexual behaviour and serological prevalence was carried out in Cambodia. The CSWs were interviewed on their demographic characters and behaviour and their blood samples were taken for testing on sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, Chlamydia trachomatis, syphilis, and hepatitis B. Associations between risk factors and HIV seropositivity were analysed. High seroprevalence of HIV and Chlamydia trachomatis IgG antibody (CT-IgG-Ab) was shown among the CSWs (54 and 81.7%, respectively). Univariate logistic regression analyses showed an association between HIV seropositivity and age, duration of prostitution, the number of clients per day and CT-IgG-Ab. Especially, high-titre chlamydial seropositivity showed a strong significant association with HIV prevalence. In multiple logistic regression analyses, CT-IgG-Ab with higher titre was significantly independently related to HIV infection. These suggest that existence of Chlamydia trachomatis is highly related to HIV prevalence. (+info)