- Programme will look to help improve the delivery of health services at secondary hospitals by modernising infrastructure and equipment among other objectives
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million results-based loan to help strengthen secondary health care in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, said the global lender in a statement released on Thursday.
The programme will look to help improve the delivery of health services at secondary hospitals by modernising infrastructure and equipment; ensuring clinical protocols, standards, and guidelines are implemented; and improving human resources planning and medicine supply chain management, the ADB said.
“While the coronavirus placed an enormous strain on essential health services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and across the country, Pakistan now faces unprecedented flooding exacerbating the risk of waterborne diseases,” ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov was quoted as saying.
“This programme will make a key contribution to improving the quality of secondary hospital services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. And while it was conceived before the monsoon, it will also help people physically injured by the floods and support efforts to control the spread of infectious diseases.”
The ADB added that the provincial health sector faces significant challenges including outdated secondary health care facilities and equipment, and inadequate quality assurance standards and processes.
“ADB’s assistance will help sustain health reforms started by the provincial government and strengthen the resilience of the health systems to future pandemics,” said ADB Senior Health Specialist for Central and West Asia Hiddo Huitzing.
“It will benefit an estimated 38 million people, including women in need of maternal health care services, and will also create jobs in the health sector.”
The development comes as record monsoon rains in south and southwest Pakistan and glacial melt in northern areas triggered flooding that has impacted nearly 33 million people in the South Asian nation of 220 million, sweeping away homes, crops, bridges, roads and livestock in damages estimated at $30 billion.
In response to the floods, the ADB said it was preparing a significant response package to support people, livelihoods, and infrastructure immediately and in the long-term. The bank has already approved a $3 million grant to fund the immediate purchase of relief goods such as food supplies and tents.
On Wednesday, the international creditor in its report forecasted Pakistan’s economic growth to slow down to 3.5% in the ongoing fiscal year (FY2023) amid devastating floods, policy tightening, and critical efforts to tackle sizable fiscal and external imbalances.