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'Linked Response' Programme

21 August 2009


Model adopted as nationally in Cambodia

At the 2008 White Tie & Tiara Ball, President Clinton spoke of the need to support the Government of Cambodia to help prevent Cambodian women from passing HIV to their unborn children. Thanks to the generosity on the night, a model programme – ‘Linked Response’ creating essential connections between HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health services is being implemented in all the health centres in Prey Veng, one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia.

The model has now been adopted as Cambodia’s national Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) strategy (2008).

The intervention was first designed to specifically address challenges of the rural population. After successful first year implementation, it is now being adopted to create a model that will better serve urban populations as well.

“Before we started the Linked Response people thought it was NCHADS’ dream alone to provide comprehensive HIV/AIDS care, treatment and support pregnant women; HIV care and treatment coverage for adults and children was extremely high, but PMTCT coverage was low and many HIV-positive women and their babies were lost. In 2008, we began implementing the Linked Response at 68 health centers across five districts in two provinces. Now coverage and service quality have increased.

Over seventy-five percent of pregnant women access antenatal care and receive HIV testing. All HIV-positive mothers and their infants are now provided comprehensive care, treatment and follow-up. Most importantly, the capacity of the district health management team has been strengthened so that service provision can be effectively managed at the local level.

This key component of decentralization will support national scale-up. Many development partners are committed to supporting the Linked Response, and implementation will begin in 14 new districts in 2009, and nation-wide programming is planned for 2010. ”