- Walson, Naomi
- Challenges and Opportunities for Male Involvement in Reproductive Health in Cambodia
- POLICY Project, Cambodia, June 2005, 23 pp
"This publication was produced for review by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It was prepared by Naomi Walston, consultant for the POLICY Project."
"Involving men in reproductive healthcare could help Cambodia achieve some major development goals, such as a decreased maternal mortality rate and an increased contraceptive prevalence rate. Involving men could also help reduce the overall prevalence of HIV/AIDS an outcome possible only if men are involved not just as clients of RH care but also as partners, service providers, policymakers, teachers, and project managers. Until today, male involvement in RH in Cambodia has been relatively underdeveloped. Despite the availability of a few contraceptive methods for men, maternal and child health (MCH) programs provide most RH care, strategic plans and services lack indicators for men, and most service providers are not equipped or trained to accommodate male clients. RH facilities tend to be female-oriented; as a result, men are often reluctant to avail themselves of services. Men’s reluctance to access RH care can also mean that barriers to accessing health, such as distance and cost, which affect both men and women, are even more influential in preventing men from seeking RH counseling or treatment or even seeking services as partners. To expand and strengthen male involvement in reproductive health in Cambodia, this report offers the following recommendations: A set of guidelines to mainstream male involvement need to be developed and distributed'. Agencies interested in implementing male involvement in reproductive health must plan for a long-term commitment. Campaigns need to be implemented that educate seemingly low-risk social and demographic groups. Current education campaigns need to be reviewed in the context of male involvement and should not, for example, reinforce gender inequities or the notion that condom use is restricted only to high-risk situations.Existing services should be made more male-friendly, with service providers undergoing additional training and engaging in effective outreach activities. The private health sector should be directly involved in efforts that foster male involvement. "