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India, Adb sign $ 300 billion loan to improve access to health care in urban areas of 13 states


The Indian government and the Asian Development Bank (AfDB) signed a loan of $ 300 million to strengthen and improve access to comprehensive primary health care in urban areas of 13 states benefiting more than 256 million people. city ​​dwellers, including 51 million slums, according to a statement. said Wednesday. The loan agreement was signed on Tuesday, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Health.

Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, signed the agreement for the Indian government to strengthen the comprehensive primary health care and pandemic preparedness program in urban areas, while Takeo Konishi , country director of the AfDB’s resident mission in India, signed for the AfDB, he said. After signing the loan agreement, Mishra said the program supports key Indian government health initiatives by expanding the availability and access to quality primary health services, especially for vulnerable populations in areas urban, according to the press release.

It supports initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat Health and Welfare Centers (AB-HWC) and Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY), which has been renamed Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM ). The Ayushman Bharat program, launched in 2018, aims to improve access to comprehensive primary health care as a key strategy to achieve universal health coverage in India.

With the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has put additional pressure on the country’s healthcare system, the government launched PM-ASBY in October 2021 to take a long-term approach to strengthening the system to prepare for future pandemics and other emergencies. “Ensuring equitable access to primary health care unrelated to COVID-19 is essential amid the challenges posed by the pandemic to the Indian health system,” Konishi said.

The program complements government efforts to address health care gaps by strengthening the institutional capacity, operation and management of urban health and wellness centers at central, state and municipal levels, he said. he declares. The program will be implemented in urban areas of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal.

In addition to the pandemic response, interventions through the program promote increased use of urban HWCs with the provision of comprehensive primary health care packages including noncommunicable diseases and community outreach services such as awareness raising activities. on health care options, especially for women, the statement said. .

Health information and delivery systems for primary health care will be upgraded through digital tools, quality assurance mechanisms and engagement and partnership with the private sector, he said. . The program is supported by a $ 2 million technical assistance grant from the AfDB’s Japan Poverty Reduction Fund to support program implementation and coordination, capacity building, innovation, knowledge sharing and application of evolving best practices across the health system, the statement said.

First publication: STI


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