Cambodia will host the 10th Asia Pacific Conference Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights

The 10th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSHR10) will be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia from May 26-29, 2020. Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC), the leading SRHR organization with which the Ministry of Health (MoH) has engaged in numerous productive partnerships over the last two decades, is serving as the Convenor of the conference.

It is very fitting for Cambodia to provide the setting for the largest regional conference on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), exploring the theme “SRHR in Asia Pacific:2030 SDG Vision and 2020 Realities”.

“Our nation has both meaningful accomplishments to celebrate and ongoing challenges to face, many of which are common to the region and are being grappled with by those working in the SRHR field in their own countries. This fact highlights the importance of the collaborative innovation APCRSHR10 seeks to catalyze,” said H.E. Prof. Mam Bun Heng, Minister of Health, Kingdom of Cambodia.

H.E. Prof. Mam Bun Heng, Minister of Health, Kingdom of Cambodia

H.E. Prof. Mam Bun Heng, Minister of Health, Kingdom of Cambodia

The determined effort of the Royal Government of Cambodia, in fruitful coordination with civil society and development partners, has led in recent years to our meeting or exceeding a number of key Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets related to SRHR. As of 2014, the infant mortality rate of Cambodia had been reduced to 28 per 1,000 live births, improving upon the target of 50 per 1,000 live births, while the maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 live births had been reduced to 170, improving upon the target of 250.

Cambodia is widely recognized as a success story and leader in combatting the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with 0.6% prevalence in 2014, a 96% reduction from peak prevalence in the 1990s. Additionally, in 2016, Cambodia had the highest antiretroviral coverage of any country in Asia. The MoH is also gladdened to recognize the good work of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS) in ongoing efforts to implement internationally-accredited comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in all schools throughout the country.

Family planning

Increased adoption of family planning is fundamental to fulfill the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).

Despite these encouraging trends, however, Cambodia simultaneously confronts continued unmet needs in a number of key SRHR areas, including family planning, youth-friendly services, safe abortion, sexual and gender-based violence prevention, and high-quality, accessible service provision for vulnerable populations, such as entertainment workers, rural-to-urban migrant labourers, and members of the LGBTQI community.

Past conferences have demonstrated that many SRHR-related challenges are common to the Asia Pacific region more broadly, and although the sociocultural, political, and economic landscape of each country is unique, the potential for cooperation is tremendous nevertheless.

The MoH of Cambodia thus strongly emphasizes the significant value of APCRSHR10 in providing a platform for disseminating best practices, strengthening regional alliances, and exchanging lessons learned in order to maintain the MDG successes-to-date and remain on track to fulfill Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

It is hoped to be an impactful gathering, energizing shared commitments to improving the well-being of communities. MoH enthusiastically encourages the robust participation of experts, practitioners, youth leaders, and the private sector from Cambodia and across the Asia Pacific and wishes the conference great success.

In addition to the MoH of Cambodia, the conference is also supported by the International Planned Parenthood Federation and UNFPA.

For more details, please visit https://apcrshr10cambodia.org/

The purpose and objectives of APCRSHR10

The purpose and objectives of APCRSHR10

Tareq Salahuddin

Dr. Tareq Salahuddin is an award-winning journalist and a Special Correspondent of News Hour. He is a Public Health Professional working in the development sector. Dr. Tareq, a medical graduate, is a member of Public Health Association of Bangladesh and a former member of the Governing Council and Policy Committee of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), a J2J Fellow on HIV/AIDS and a member of the International AIDS Society. To know more about Dr. Tareq, please visit his personal website (www.tareqsalahuddin.net) or simply Google his name.
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