The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $300 million loan to strengthen and improve access to comprehensive primary health care in urban areas of 13 states to benefit more than 256 million urban dwellers, including 51 million from slum areas. Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and Takeo Konishi, Country Director, India Resident Mission, ADB, signed the agreement for Strengthening Comprehensive Primary Health Care and Pandemic Preparedness in Urban Areas Program.
The loan will support 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), now known 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. The programme will fortify institutional capacity, operation and management of urban health and wellness centres (HWCs) at the central, state and municipal levels. In addition, interventions through the programme promote increased utilisation of urban HWCs with the provision of comprehensive primary health care packages, including non-communicable diseases and community outreach services such as awareness-building activities on healthcare options, particularly for women. Delivery and health information systems for primary health care will be upgraded through digital tools, quality assurance mechanisms and engagement and partnership with the private sector.
A $2 million technical assistance grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will support the implementation and coordination, capacity building, innovation, knowledge sharing and application of scalable best practices across the healthcare system.