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ADB sanctions $170M loan to strengthen health sector in India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $170 million policy-based loan to improve India’s health system preparedness and capacity to respond to future pandemics.

The Strengthened and Measurable Actions for Resilient and Transformative Health Systems (Subprogram 1) will support the government’s National Health Policy 2017, which aims to provide quality health care services to all.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us valuable lessons and adoption of several innovative practices that would significantly strengthen pandemic preparedness and response capacities, if consolidated, sustained, and institutionalized. ADB has been working with the Government of India to strengthen its health system and adopt transformative solutions,” said ADB Senior Health Specialist Sonalini Khetrapal. “This policy-based loan will help fill the gaps in policy, legislative, and institutional governance and structures and contribute to India’s goal of providing universal access to quality and affordable health care services to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response.”

The program will strengthen disease surveillance systems to effectively respond to public health threats. It will set up laboratory networks for infectious disease surveillance at the state, union, and metropolitan levels. It will also support the establishment of robust data systems to monitor and coordinate national health programs for the poor, women, and other vulnerable groups. The program will improve the governance and coordination of India’s One Health approach, its multisector response to emerging infectious diseases.

ADB will support policy reforms that will ensure there are adequate and competent health professionals and workers. This includes legislation that will regulate and maintain standards of education, services and professional conduct of nurses, midwives, allied workers, and doctors. The program will help public health and health management teams deployed in some states to support public health functions and improve service delivery.

The program will help manage integrated public health laboratories in five states and district critical care hospital blocks to improve services for infectious diseases and critical illnesses. It will assist the intersectoral governing body and multisector task force in establishing green and climate-resilient health care facilities. Innovative solutions for service delivery would also be supported.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
MB Bureau

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