India gov't signs 300 mln-USD loan agreement with ADB to improve primary health care

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NEW DELHI, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- India's federal government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a loan agreement of 300 million U.S. dollars to improve primary health care in the country, officials said Wednesday.

The agreement was signed in New Delhi by Rajat Kumar Mishra, a senior official of the department of economic affairs representing the government of India, and Takeo Konishi, country director of ADB in India.

"The government of India and the ADB yesterday signed a 300 million U.S. dollar loan to strengthen and improve access to comprehensive primary health care in urban areas of 13 states that will benefit over 256 million urban dwellers including 51 million from slum areas," reads a statement issued by India's finance ministry.

Officials said the loan amount would be used for the program to strengthen comprehensive primary health care and pandemic preparedness in the urban areas.

"Ensuring equitable access to non-COVID-19 primary health care is critical amid challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic to India's health system," Konishi was quoted as saying.

"The program complements the government's efforts to bridge the health care gaps by strengthening institutional capacity, operation, and management of urban health and wellness centers at the central, state, and municipal levels."

According to officials, the program will be implemented in urban areas across 13 states including Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Chhattisgarh. Enditem

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