Overview of ACTED-PSF mission in Cambodge with Dr Sreng Sineng
Dr Sreng Sineng is Medical Team Manager for ACTED-PSF in Cambodia
When did you start working with PSF Cambodia and what is your position in the organisation?
I started working for PSF eight months ago. I currently work on the PSF Prevention Project as a Medical Manager for STI and HIV prevention.
Could you briefly present the ACTED-PSF team?
We have three different teams that respectively correspond to the three different projects. 32 persons work on the STI and HIV prevention project in Phnom Penh; three people, including pharmacist and doctors, work on the project in support of the national programme on logistical management of drugs, for Cambodia’s national action against HIV/AIDS; and 20 people work on the ‘Smart Girl’ project in Phnom Penh. In complement, ten people work on all three projects and two international staffs are Head of Mission and Pharmacist Advisor.
In which areas are these activities implemented?
The project in support of the logistical management of antiretrovirals and Opportunistic infection drugs is implemented throughout the country, as it aims to directly support the Referral Hospital Pharmacies, located in almost all provinces. The two other projects are based in Phnom Penh; the activities take place in many different locations of the city (health centers, factories, karaokes, restaurants, massage parlors, casinos, local partner NGOs, markets, municipal parks, etc).
To what needs are you responding?
In Cambodia, there is a high prevalence of STI and AIDS among high risk populations. Additionally, entertainment workers cannot afford to pay for health check-ups.
Who are the beneficiaries?
The beneficiaries are the populations who are the most susceptible to be infected, such as entertainment workers, direct and indirect sex workers, vulnerable women, youth, homosexuals.
What are the main tasks of your work with PSF in Cambodia?
We provide one to three monthly STI consultations and health education to entertainment workers, factory workers, drug users, homosexuals. We also provide mobile services at Mith Samlanh centres for deprived children and young female sex workers and at drop-in centre for homosexuals. We offer technical assistance to the Family Health Clinic. These are public health centres in Phnom Penh providing STIs consultations, HIV tests, family planning, reproductive health, etc. Finally, we also distribute free condoms.
What are the main challenges you and your team face?
As entertainment workers work at night time and sleep in the day time, it is difficult to meet with them and drive them to the Family Health Clinic for appropriate care and treatment. Furthermore, some establishment owners don’t want to collaborate with ACTED-PSF as they refuse to allow us a room for confidential consultations.
What are the main achievements you and your team have made?
The number of STI and HIV cases has decreased in Phnom Penh. Most of beneficiaries know about their health and voluntarily have health check-ups and HIV testing. Peer educators explain to their relatives and friends about behaviors that induce risks of contamination. They also prevent themselves from being infected by STI or AIDS, for instance through the use of condom and limiting the number of partners. Furthermore, with ACTED-PSF’s provision of equipment and technical support for consultations and drug provisions to the Family Health Clinic, entertainment workers now accept to have their consultations at those centers.
How do you imagine the future of ACTED-PSF in Cambodia?
One of our future strategies could be to extend the prevention project to other urban locations out of Phnom Penh, as this model is successful. Additionally, I think that the ACTED-PSF Clinic based in the North of the city could become more autonomous and sustainable if we ask patients to cover part of the cost of their treatment. Moreover, this very clinic could extend its services to reproductive health and family planning.
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