- The program aims, among other things, to improve health services in secondary hospitals in KP.
- ADB official says Pakistan is facing unprecedented flooding and risk of waterborne diseases.
- KP suffers from a high infant and maternal mortality rate of 53 per 1,000 live births.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$100 million results-based loan to improve the quality of secondary health care in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The program will help improve the delivery of health services in secondary education hospitals by upgrading infrastructure and equipment, ensuring implementation of clinical protocols, standards and guidelines, and improving workforce planning and drug supply chain management, according to an ADB news release received on Thursday.
“While the coronavirus has put a tremendous strain on essential health services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and across the country, Pakistan is now facing unprecedented flooding that is exacerbating the risk of waterborne diseases,” said ADB Director-General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov.
“This program will be instrumental in improving the quality of secondary hospital care in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and although designed ahead of the monsoon, it will also help people who have been physically injured by the floods and support efforts to stem the spread of Support infectious diseases,” Zhukov added.
According to the statement, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s healthcare sector is facing significant challenges, including outdated secondary care healthcare facilities and equipment, and inadequate quality assurance standards and processes.
The province suffers from high infant and maternal mortality rates of 53 per 1,000 live births and 165 per 100,000, respectively.
“ADB’s support will help sustain the health care reforms initiated by the provincial government and strengthen health systems’ resilience to future pandemics,” he 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 services, and it will also create jobs in the health sector,” Huitzing added.
Since 1966, ADB has provided over US$37 billion in loans, grants and other forms of financing to support inclusive economic growth in Pakistan and improve the country’s infrastructure, energy and food security, transportation networks and social services.
In response to the floods, the ADB is preparing a major relief package to provide immediate and long-term support to people, livelihoods and infrastructure.
The bank has already approved a US$3 million grant to fund the immediate purchase of emergency supplies such as food and tents. ADB is also preparing a separate counter-cyclical package to help Pakistan weather the impact of external shocks.