ADB to provide $300-mn loan for primary health care

The Asian Development Bank said it has approved USD 300 million (about Rs 2,200 crore) loan to strengthen and improve access to comprehensive primary health care in urban areas in India.The program will benefit an estimated 256 million urban residents.

The onset of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has put pressure and revealed weaknesses in India’s health care system, said the Manila-headquartered multilateral lending agency in a release.

In response, the government launched the Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY) to strengthen public health systems and respond to future pandemics and other emergencies, it noted.

ADB said the Strengthening Comprehensive Primary Health Care in Urban Areas Program will support the Ayushman Bharat (the Healthy India initiative) Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) and PM-ASBY to ensure equitable access to quality comprehensive primary health care services in urban areas in 13 states.