USD 40 mn World Bank loan for state’s health sector

SHILLONG, Oct 1: The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a USD 40 million project that is aimed at improving the quality of health services in Meghalaya and to strengthen the state’s capacity to handle future health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
The loan to be sanctioned by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a maturity of 14.5 years, including a grace period of 5 years.
The Meghalaya Health Systems Strengthening Project will enhance the management and governance capabilities of the state and its health facilities, expand the design and coverage of the state’s health insurance programme, improve the quality of health services through certification and better human resource systems and enable efficient access to medicines and diagnostics.
All the 11 districts of the state will benefit from the project. It will also benefit health sector staff at the primary and secondary levels by strengthening their planning and management capabilities and building their clinical skills. The project will enable women to better utilise healthcare services at the community level.
“Meghalaya has the distinction of performing better than the national average on many key health indicators. Access to quality health services, however, remains a challenge, particularly in rural areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has further strained the state’s health systems, impacting the delivery of essential services,” said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India.
“This project will support the state government’s efforts to deliver quality healthcare for the poor and vulnerable, for women, and to those located in remote areas,” he added.
As a key strategy, the project will move towards a performance-based financing system where Internal Performance Agreements (IPAs) between the DoHFW and its subsidiaries would foster more accountability at all levels. This is expected to go a long way in improving the management of the system to deliver quality health services. The project will also focus on promoting synergy between various schemes and augment the capacity of the state insurance agency.
The project will invest in infection prevention and control for a more resilient response to future outbreaks, pandemics, and health emergencies.
Improved health services may also lead to an incremental increase in bio-medical waste. Any improper management of wastes including bio-medical waste and other hazardous wastes such as plastic waste and e-waste poses environmental risks. The project will invest in improving the overall ecosystem for bio-medical waste management (both solid and liquid waste). It will include segregation, disinfection, and collection while safeguarding the environment and improving the quality of health service and patient safety.
“Weak management capacity is leading to a range of gaps affecting the quality and utilization of health services in Meghalaya,” said Amith Nagaraj Bathula, Senior Operations Officer, and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project. “This project will help the state to improve management capacity, quality certification at health facilities, enhance human resources, strengthen health insurance and other innovations.”a

Get real time updates directly on your device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.