India Secures $170 Million ADB Loan to Boost Pandemic Preparedness and Health Infrastructure

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New Delhi – The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $170 million policy-based loan to enhance India’s health system preparedness and response capacity for future pandemics. Ms. Juhi Mukherjee, Joint Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and Ms. Mio Oka, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, formalized the agreement.

The loan is part of the ‘Strengthened and Measurable Actions for Resilient and Transformative Health Systems Programme (Subprogramme 1)’, which aims to bolster India’s pandemic preparedness and response capabilities. Ms. Mukherjee highlighted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian government implemented several measures to enhance its readiness and response. The ADB program will support ongoing efforts to improve disease surveillance, ensure the availability and quality of health professionals, and promote climate-resilient public health infrastructure.

Ms. Oka emphasized the importance of this partnership, stating, “Through this policy-based loan, ADB will help the government fill gaps in policy, legislative, and institutional governance and structures, contributing to India’s goal of providing universal access to quality and affordable health care services to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response.”

The program will align with key government initiatives such as the National Health Policy 2017, Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), the National One Health Mission, and efforts to strengthen human resources for Health (HRH). It focuses on three main areas: enhanced disease surveillance and multisectoral response, strengthened HRH, expanded climate-resilient public health infrastructure, and innovative service delivery.

Under this comprehensive program, key initiatives will be undertaken to bolster India’s pandemic preparedness and response capabilities. These include establishing laboratory networks for infectious disease surveillance at various levels, building robust data systems for national health programs, and improving governance of India’s One Health approach. ADB will also be instrumental in supporting policy reforms to ensure an adequate and competent health workforce by regulating education standards and professional conduct.

Additionally, the program will manage integrated public health laboratories in five states and district critical care hospital blocks to enhance services for infectious diseases and critical illnesses. It will also support establishing green and climate-resilient healthcare facilities and promote innovative solutions for service delivery.

This initiative underscores the ongoing commitment of the Government of India and ADB to building a robust and resilient health infrastructure capable of effectively responding to future health crises.

IAT News Service
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