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India, ADB Sign $300 Million Loan To Improve Primary Health Care In India

The loan is going to benefit over 256 million urban dwellers including 51 million from slum areas, according to the Union Finance Ministry.

Photo Credit : PTI

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The union government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday signed a $300 million loan to strengthen and improve access to primary health care in urban areas of 13 states, informed the Finance Ministry on Wednesday. 

"The programme supports the Government of India’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," said Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Rajat Kumar Mishra said after signing the loan agreement. 

Prime Minister Modi led the central government launched the Ayushman Bharat programme in 2018 to improve access to comprehensive primary health care as a key strategy to achieve universal health coverage in India. 

"Ensuring equitable access to non-COVID-19 primary health care is critical amid challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic to India’s health system. 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," said Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, Takeo Konishi. 

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, informed the ministry. 

Apart from that, the programme is supported by a $2 million technical assistance grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to provide support for programme implementation and coordination, capacity building, innovation, knowledge sharing and application of scalable best practices across the healthcare system. 


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