World Bank $ 40 million loan for state health sector


SHILLONG, October 1: The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved a $ 40 million project to improve the quality of health services in Meghalaya and strengthen the state’s capacity to manage future health emergencies , including the COVID-19 pandemic.
The loan which will 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 improve the management and governance capacities of the State and its health facilities, expand the design and coverage of the State health insurance program, improve the quality of health services through certification and better human resource systems and will enable efficient access to medicines and diagnostics.
All 11 districts in the state will benefit from the project. It will also benefit health sector staff at primary and secondary levels by strengthening their planning and management capacities and developing their clinical skills. The project will enable women to make better use of health services at the community level.
“The Meghalaya has the distinction of performing better than the national average on many key health indicators. However, access to quality health services remains a challenge, especially in rural areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has put further strain on 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 efforts of the state government to provide quality health care to poor and vulnerable people, women and those in remote areas,” he added.
As a key strategy, the project will evolve towards a performance-based financing system where internal performance agreements (IPAs) between the DoHFW and its subsidiaries would promote greater accountability at all levels. This should go a long way in improving the management of the system in order to provide quality health services. The project will also focus on promoting synergy between different schemes and increase the capacity of the state insurance agency.
The project will invest in infection prevention and control for a more resilient response to future epidemics, pandemics and health emergencies.
Improving health services can also lead to a gradual increase in biomedical waste. Any mismanagement of waste, including biomedical waste and other hazardous waste such as plastic waste and electronic waste, presents environmental risks. The project will invest in improving the overall ecosystem for the management of biomedical waste (both solid and liquid). It will include segregation, disinfection and collection while preserving the environment and improving the quality of health services and patient safety.
“The weak management capacity is causing a series of gaps affecting the quality and use of health services in Meghalaya,” said Amith Nagaraj Bathula, senior operations manager and World Bank team leader for the project. “This project will help the state to improve management capacity, quality certification in health facilities, improvement of human resources, strengthening of health insurance and other innovations. “To


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