Mondulkiri Sets National Precedent With Cross-Sector Collaboration For Improved Adolescent And Youth Health And Well-Being

date_range 25-Jun-2024
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Phnom Penh, June 25, 2024 --

Towards improving the health and wellbeing of adolescents and youth, the Provincial Health Department, the Provincial Department of Education, Youth, and Sport of Mondulkiri province, and the UNFPA Cambodia Country Office on June 24 handed over equipment and materials towards the scaling up of school health rooms in ten schools across the province.

According to its press release, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) works in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports the school health room initiative. In Mondulkiri, the provincial departments have collaborated to meet the specific healthcare needs of local communities. Ten schools (five secondary and five primary) will receive new health rooms equipped with patient beds/mattresses, basic first aid items, and dignity kits for adolescent girls. This ensures that students in remote areas have access to essential reproductive and health care services and information, health education, and first aid within their schools. Mondulkiri is the first province in the country to implement this model of sub-national partnership between the Departments of health and education.

"By establishing these school health rooms, we are investing in the future of our next generations and empowering them to take charge of their health and well-being. When young people have access to reproductive health services, essential healthcare, and accurate information within their schools, they can make informed decisions, overcome barriers, and focus on their education. The Provincial Health Department is proud to partner with the Provincial Department of Education to ensure a healthy and bright future for every student in Mondulkiri province," said Dr. Bun Sou, the Director of the Provincial Health Department of Mondulkiri province.

"We deeply appreciate the partnership with UNFPA and the close collaboration with the Mondulkiri Provincial Health Department," said Mr. Ly Samik, the Director of the Mondulkiri Provincial Department of Education, Youth and Sport. "By allowing students access to primary health services in schools, we have improved their access to youth-friendly health centers, effectively supporting the government's vision of building human capital by prioritising student health, including sexual and reproductive health." Mr. Samik added, "Providing comprehensive information to empower Indigenous students in the Northeast about their rights and choices will further engage them in education, particularly by supporting them to delay early marriage."

The equipment handover ceremony was attended by representatives from both departments, school officials, and UNFPA. The United Nations agency is proud to partner with the Mondulkiri Provincial Departments of Education and Health on this important initiative.

Sandra Bernklau, the Representative of UNFPA stated that, “ensuring that all adolescents and youth have access to sexual and reproductive health information, support and services will ensure that young people are able to make informed decisions about their health, wellbeing and futures”.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone in Mondulkiri province's efforts to prioritise the health and well-being of its students. The school health rooms are expected to have a positive impact on school attendance, academic performance, and overall community health.