Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
SL secures US$ 110mn ADB loan to improve primary healthcare system
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Sri Lanka yesterday signed a loan agreement for US$ 110 million in additional financing to support the ongoing Health Sector Enhancement Project, which is aimed at improving the primary healthcare system in the country. The loan will be supplemented by a US$ 3 million grant from ADB’S Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific (formerly the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction) that will finance expenditures related to the renovation of ambulance stations, procurement of ambulances, and training of pre-hospital service personnel.
Secretary to the Treasury and Ministry of Finance S. R. Attygalle signed the loan agreement for the Government of Sri Lanka and ADB Country Director for Sri Lanka Chen Chen signed for ADB.
“This loan will finance urgent requirements brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic in the health sector as well as the needs for other health care services and facilities,” said Chen.
“While focusing on the pandemic, one cannot neglect or overlook the other important needs in the health sector.”
ADB’S additional support will strengthen the government’s pandemic response and enhance primary and secondary healthcare in the Central, North Central, Sabaragamuwa, and Uva provinces.
This will fund the development of 42 primary health care (PHC) facilities and expand the package of nutritional services to mothers and children, especially the most vulnerable population in the estate and rural areas in the four provinces.
It will also renovate 127 field health centres and implement a behavioural-change communications campaign to encourage the use of PHC facilities.
In addition, it will strengthen the health information system and disease surveillance capacity, while supporting policy development, capacity building, and project management.
“This additional financing loan will provide much-needed financing to continue healthcare delivery model reform,” said Attygalle.
“By adopting the shared cluster approach, it is envisaged to improve the efficiency of public expenditure in the health system, since the secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities are currently overcrowded and overstretched.”