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India signs $300 million loan with ADB to improve primary health care in country


New Delhi: The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $300 million loan to strengthen and improve access to comprehensive primary health care in urban areas of 13 states.

The agreement for Strengthening Comprehensive Primary Health Care and pandemic preparedness in Urban Areas Program was signed on Tuesday.

According to the government, the move will benefit over 256 million urban dwellers, including 51 million from slum areas.

Rajat Kumar Mishra, additional secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, who signed the agreement on behalf of government of India, said that the programme supports the Centre’s key health initiatives – Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) and Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY) – which has been renamed as Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) – by expanding availability and access to quality primary health care services particularly for vulnerable populations in urban areas.

“Ensuring equitable access to non-Covid-19 primary health care is critical amid challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic to India’s health system,” said Takeo Konishi, country director of ADB’s India Resident Mission. “The programme complements the government’s efforts to bridge the health care gaps by strengthening institutional capacity, operation, and management of urban health and wellness centres at the central, state, and municipal levels.”

The programme will be implemented in urban areas across 13 states: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and West Bengal.



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