– Your Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen,
– Distinguished National and International Guests,
Today, I have a great pleasure and very honored to once again participate with your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen in the National Workshop on the Dissemination of Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey in 2005. I honestly compliment the leaders of the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Health and particularly, all the staffs of National Institute of Statistics and National Institute for Public Health Research as well as all development partners who had successfully prepared and conducted this Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey in 2005. I would like to take this opportunity to specially thank the OCR-MACRO in providing the technical supports during the survey process and the UNFPA, UNICEF, DFID/ADB, USAID and CDC/GAP who provided funding and technical consultancy and guided our staffs to conduct the survey and obtained good results.
I would like to emphasize that the Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey in 2005 that is going to be disseminated today is very important, because it responds timely to the immediate and crucial need of Cambodia in planning and monitoring the progresses of health and demographic policies and other documents of the NSDP.
At the same time, it should be recognized that this is the second time that the Royal Government of Cambodia has ever prepared such a wide and comprehensive survey. This survey allows us to make a good comparison to the survey in 2000, and able us to assess the progress and improvement of some major social indicators. Therefore, I strongly believe that the interventions from the speakers together with thorough discussion on each topic will be collected as statistical information and as a comprehensive background for preparing health strategies and policies to reduce poverty and improve welfare of the people.
Taking this important opportunity, I would like to contribute to the workshop some ideas about the role and benefit of the statistical data in socio-economic development, especially in preparing socio-economic policies to timely respond to some of the challenges in development.
The Royal Government of Cambodia has made reforms in all sectors to reduce poverty that is the core of all policies and strategies of the Royal Government. Obviously, statistical data is the important foundation for preparing strategic policies of the Royal Government and is the tool for evaluating its progresses. The statistical data collected from the census, survey and administrative data collection forms the very important basis for preparing and monitoring the NSDP, assessing poverty status of Cambodia and achieving the CMDGs as well as assisting the national and local researchers and national and international communities alike.
The Royal Government has provided with great benefit by establishing the economic, social, demographic and health database such as the Cambodia Demography and people Health Survey in 2005. Indeed, in the 21st century, the statistical data is increasingly expensive and becomes the important tool for understanding and managing socio-economic situation of every country. We can say that the powerful people are the ones who have comprehensive information in order to make good decisions, and a strong leader is the one who can address the livelihood of the people with high efficiency so that the people can live in peace, dignities and progresses. Therefore, by clearly understand the meaning hidden in the statistical data and the potential of its use is important for all level of leaders. The leaders must clearly and comprehensively understand the situation and the surrounding issues to make appropriate decisions. Therefore, we need to have the statistical data that relates to all aspects of life.
In this essence, the Royal Government has focused on the development of National Database Systems including the preparation of statistical law, sub-decrees on organizing and processing the National Database System and other statistical regulations including the 2008 General Demographic Census in Cambodia an other surveys particularly, this CambodiaDemographic and People Health Survey in 2005 which reflects the success of the Royal Government in social and demographic sectors. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thank to all the international organizations that have endorsed as well as organized this national seminar on Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey in 2005and provided the supports for other projects to the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Health.
The outcome of this Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey in 2005 is very most important and crucial for monitoring and analyzing the poverty status in order to clearly understand about the efficiency of the intervention made by the Royal Government and the implementation of other reform programs on the group of people who earn different levels of incomes and the on the different sex groups who live in the urban and rural areas. In this spirit, the Royal Government needs to study clearly on the group of vulnerable people such as women who suffered from domestic violence, orphans, poor rural families, families who abide by the temporary building constructions, and homeless children. We must clearly study the issues of poverty and encourage the poor, and we must understand the responses of the citizens to the Royal Government’s policies and programs as well as the efficiency of the launched Public Financial Reform and Poverty Reduction Program.
In this sense, the positive part resulting from the real practice of this survey result is the properly planned policies, programs and projects which involved to the demography and demographic health in order to strengthen and upgrade the public health services delivery in the future. Meanwhile, we can use the above result to build up the national capacity to collect, modify and analyze the demographic and health data. Moreover, the cooperative coordination within the national statistical system from day to day has been improved and strengthened.
Certainly the demographic and health survey is not just only the tool to evaluate the improvement achieved in the promotion of the health situation in Cambodia, but it also reflects the challenges that we are facing too. For instance, this CambodiaDemographic and People Health Survey in 2005 shows that there is a lot of improvement for the past 5 years, in that, the infant and child mortality rate in Cambodia has fallen down 30% since 2000 and fertility rate has decreased from 4 children per woman in 2000 to 3.4 children per woman in 2005. Whilst, the healthcare before the birth delivery has been improved and the children nutrition has also been ameliorated. AIDS has also significantly decreased. However, the maternal mortality rate is still high. Indeed, within this context, the Royal Government will concentrate on monitoring the challenges which could occur from the result of this Demographic and Health Survey by giving the priority above all else to the improvement of Cambodian women and children health.
In the spirit of which I have already mentioned above, I would like to appeal to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen who are the leaders of all the Royal Government’s ministries and institutes to focus on maximizing the use of all the data collected from this survey in order to improve the policies of each sector and to enhance the implementation of the setup strategic policies and measurements. Both Cambodia and its development partners must continue to closely cooperate with one another to address the challenging issues which are highlighted in the survey. The declaration of the today’s result has an important aim to the health policy makers, especially, the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Health and its partners and the concerned national and international organizations to be able to access the key data and information on the demographic and health situation in Cambodia in order to lay out various efficient measures to address those problematic issues as shown in the survey, and to enhance the health services, particularly, to improve the public healthcare services to assure the welfare of the people as well as to provide direction for the development of Cambodia in all sectors.
At the meantime, we should notice that the Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey conducted this time has made a lot of improvements if compare with the last one as this survey included the reliable and thorough research on HIV/AIDS.
Moreover, the produced data on the demography, demographic characteristic and the people’s health at this time, has responded to the demand for a reliable and comparable data to build up policies, strategies and various programs of the Royal Government on poverty reduction, especially, from now on we will have a better and comparable data on Cambodia Demography and People Health Survey.
The relationship between the people, poverty, food production and the environment is huge, and it is usually a difficult task which requires the art of leadership, patience and time to fully improve the wellbeing and livelihood of the people. We will resolve this issue by depending on political and economic stability, human capacity building by focusing on socio-economic sector such as education and health, environmental conservation and the improvement in the quality of public institutions through civil administrative reforms.
Meanwhile, in the demography and health sectors, the Royal Government has placed particular focus on infant and maternal mortality rates and birth spacing, despite the reduction in the mortality and birth rates. It should also be noticed that, despite the fact that we have made improvement on the fertility (due to the reduction in birth rate), the education and guidance on family planning has been encouraged and enhanced in order to promote more new methods of birth spacing. Moreover, even though the number of women who gave birth at hospitals and health centers has doubled recently in Cambodia, particularly at rural areas, the percentage of people who gave birth at homes is still high if compared to that at health institutions. In fact, by giving birth at home women and the infant face with high risks of deteriorating health due to the lack of emergency rescue and hygiene. Without any doubt, the economic and social conditions are the primary factors which forced women to give birth at homes rather than at health centers, however, the facts that most women do not fully understand the risks relating to giving birth at home and the important of giving birth at proper health centers are also the complementary reasons for the action.
Furthermore, women still face with many other challenges such as their economic independency, their participation in the family’s decision making process and domestic violence. These are the things that we need to review and address in order to promote women’s status in our society.
All of the above claims show that the information that we received from Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey in 2005 is a very crucial aspect which contributes to the implementation of the Royal Government’s Rectangular Strategy.
On behalf of the Royal Government, I would like to raise some more key recommendations which aim at strengthening the preparation and the management of statistics as follows:
1- Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey in 2005 together with other Cambodia Socio-Economic Surveys can help to deepen the study on the poverty situation in Cambodia. At the same time, by combining this survey with the data on population census in 2008, Cambodia will have good demographic and socio-economic indicators. In this spirit, the Ministry of Planning must strengthen database management and widely disseminate the data acquired and produced to serve the benefit of society and the world.
2- Must strengthen the national database system through facilitating mechanism as stated in the statistical regulations and enhance the development of database system to comply with the master plan in order to avoid double surveys and contradictions in the data dissemination.
3- Must always put efforts in humane resource development because statistical work is a complicated one which requires training and practical experiences in doing the census which itself, is a practical training work. This work has also been mentioned in the Rectangular Strategy of the Royal Government regarding capacity building and human resource development which included improving health services and implementing the people policies.
4- Must pay close attention on the Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey once every 5-year time following the prepared master plan. By doing so, it will strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry Planning as well as providing the country with useful basic statistical data.
Before coming to the end, I would like to highly value the efforts made by leaders of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Planning as well as government officials at all levels who have been tirelessly completed their survey with success. I would like to also deeply thank all development partners who have provided both the financial and technical supports for theCambodia Demographic and People Health Survey in 2005.
I am very delighted to announce the publication of this valuable report, it is a book on Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey in 2005. Indeed, I have a strong belief that your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, government officials at all levels, as well as development partners, NGOS, and all the users will receive tremendous benefits from this report for your respective interests.
I would like to wish you all with Five Gems of Buddhist Blessings, and I wish the whole workshop with bright success. May I now announce the official opening of the workshop on the dissemination of the Cambodia Demographic and People Health Survey in 2005 from now on.