New Delhi: India has signed a USD 170 million policy-based loan with the Asian Development Bank to enhance the country’s health system preparedness for pandemics, the Union Ministry of Finance said.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the loan will help to consolidate and strengthen India’s health system preparedness and response capacity to future pandemics.

The loan agreement ‘Strengthened and Measurable Actions for Resilient and Transformative Health Systems Programme (Subprogramme 1)’ was signed on Tuesday by 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.

As per the ministry, the ADB programme will help the government’s ongoing efforts in further strengthening disease surveillance, ensuring the sufficiency and quality of health professionals, and promoting climate-resilient public health infrastructure and service delivery.

“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,” said World Bank official Mio Oka.

The ministry also added that the programme will be anchored in major government 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 strengthening disease surveillance and multi sectoral response, strengthening human resources for health, and expanding climate-resilient public health infrastructure and innovative service delivery.

The programme will also 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.

It 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 ministry stated that 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 healthcare facilities. Innovative solutions for service delivery would also be supported. (ANI)

  • Published On Jul 3, 2024 at 12:33 PM IST

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