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India inks USD 170M loan with ADB for pandemic preparedness

The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $170 million policy-based loan to consolidate and strengthen India’s health system preparedness and response capacity to future pandemics.

The signatories to the ‘Strengthened and Measurable Actions for Resilient and Transformative Health Systems Programme (Subprogramme 1)’ were Juhi Mukherjee, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India and Mio Oka, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission for ADB.

Mukherjee said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the government adopted several practices to significantly strengthen its pandemic preparedness and response capability. She said that the ADB programme will help the government’s ongoing efforts in further strengthening disease surveillance, ensure sufficiency and quality of health professionals and promote climate-resilient public health infrastructure and service delivery.

“The programme builds on ADB’s partnership with the Government of India to strengthen its health system and adopt transformative solutions,” said Oka. “Through this policy-based loan, ADB will help the government 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 programme will be anchored in major government’s plans and initiatives including the National Health Policy 2017; Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), the National One Health Mission, and the government’s efforts to strengthen human resources for health (HRH). The targeted reform areas through the program include: (i) strengthened disease surveillance and multisectoral response, (ii) strengthened human resources for health, and (iii) expanded climate resilient public health infrastructure and innovative service delivery.

The programme will strengthen disease surveillance systems to effectively respond to public health threats through setting up laboratory networks for infectious disease surveillance at the state, union, and metropolitan levels, and building robust data systems to monitor and coordinate national health programmes for the poor, women, and other vulnerable groups. The programme will improve the governance of India’s One Health approach, and 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 programme 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 inter-sectoral governing body and multi-sector task force in establishing green and climate-resilient health care facilities. Innovative solutions for service delivery would also be supported.
MB Bureau

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