For Immediate Release
February 8, 2024
Dr. Mandy K. Cohen, Director of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visited Cambodia February 7-8 to meet with senior Cambodian officials and public health partners. In her meetings with Minister of Health Professor Ra Chheang and officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Cohen acknowledged the long-standing 22-year partnership between the U.S. CDC and Cambodia and highlighted the importance of continued collaboration in prevention and early detection of respiratory diseases and public health emergency preparedness and response.
“Dr. Cohen’s visit underscores the long-standing commitment of the United States to improving public health in Cambodia,” said U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy. “CDC’s ongoing partnerships have helped Cambodia effectively address HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, influenza, and rabies. The U.S. government, including CDC and other U.S. health agencies working in the Kingdom, also helped Cambodian authorities launch one of the most successful early responses to the outbreak of COVID-19 anywhere in the world.”
Dr. Cohen visited the Orussey Live Bird Market, the National Pediatric Hospital, the National Institute for Public Health Laboratory, and Cambodia CDC to observe the robust, joint efforts between U.S. CDC and partners to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging respiratory viral threats. Dr. Cohen engaged in constructive discussions on global health security while reaffirming U.S. CDC’s commitment to advancing core public health capacity to protect the health and safety of the people of Cambodia.
Dr. Cohen’s visit to the Kingdom included a visit to the Toul Kork Health Center in Phnom Penh to observe first-hand CDC’s local partnership in addressing HIV and other infectious diseases. She also conducted a tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn more about U.S. support for justice, accountability, and preserving the memories of victims of atrocities.
Key U.S. Contributions and Health Assistance in Cambodia
- PEPFAR support to End HIV/AIDS by 2030. In part through support provided by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the number of annual new HIV infections has declined 36 percent since 2010; with 86 percent of Cambodians living with HIV knowing their status, among whom 99 percent are receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 98 percent of those on treatment virally suppressed.
- Advancing malaria elimination. Implemented through USAID and CDC since 2013, the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has supported Cambodia to advance toward eliminating malaria. In 2023, Cambodia experienced a 92 percent reduction of Plasmodium falciparum cases compared to 2022, and an overall reduction of all malaria species by 66 percent. Notably, Cambodia has not reported a single malaria death since 2017.
- Advancing Global Health Security. Building on existing public health partnerships, the U.S. government expanded support to Cambodia related to health security following the initial H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks among humans in 2005. Currently, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other partners provide a range of support to strengthen Cambodia’s capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging infectious diseases and public health threats.
- Responding to COVID-19 and expanding access to vaccinations. The U.S. government provided broad support to Cambodia to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including $16 million in USAID supplemental funding, CDC technical assistance, and 3.3 million vaccines donated through COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX). Bolstered by U.S. support, Cambodia’s COVID-19 response gained recognition in the region as highly effective.
- Reducing maternal, neonatal, and child mortality. USAID has significantly contributed to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in Cambodia through investments in quality improvement, health workforce training, and primary healthcare, including family planning. Through support to World Health Organization, CDC has also helped to strengthen Cambodia’s immunization systems, and continues to advise regional immunization efforts.
- Strengthening the health system. U.S. interagency health assistance enhances quality of care through strengthened quality standards and oversight of providers, expands social health protection to reduce out-of-pocket spending on health, and builds human and institutional capacity. CDC and NIH support for laboratory systems continues to improve the accurate diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of infections like HIV, SARS-CoV-2, TB, influenza, and detection of emerging pathogens.