21:29 (GMT +7) - Tuesday 17/09/2019

Vietnam Today

WB to support improvements to grassroots health services

Released at: 16:59, 20/06/2019

WB to support improvements to grassroots health services

Photo: Viet Tuan (inllustration)

$80-million loan to help Vietnam improve quality of and access to basic health services in 13 provinces.

by Doanh Doanh

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved an $80 million loan to help Vietnam improve the quality of and access to basic health services in 13 provinces, with a focus on poor areas of the country.

The 13 provinces covered by the project are Ha Giang, Bac Kan, Yen Bai, Son La, and Hoa Binh in the north, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Quang Ngai in the central region, Ninh Thuan in the south-central region, and Long An, Tra Vinh, Hau Giang, and Bac Lieu in the Mekong Delta. All but one have poverty rates above the national average, and nine are in the poorest third of all provinces nationwide.

“While health outcomes and access to basic health services have improved tremendously for the general population, disadvantaged groups, especially ethnic minorities and those living in poor, remote, and mountainous provinces, still lag behind,” said Mr. Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam. “This project is designed to target these groups by closing remaining gaps in access to basic healthcare while expanding new services to address emerging demographic and epidemiological challenges.”

The Investing and Innovating for Grassroots Health Service Delivery Project is designed to enable commune health stations (CHS) to detect and manage non-communicable diseases while strengthening their existing role in controlling infectious diseases and providing essential maternal, newborn, and child healthcare services. About 9.2 million people are expected to directly benefit from investments under the project.

To do this, the project will provide CHS with equipment, training, and quality management tools, while upgrading infrastructure to meet national standards. The project will also support policy reforms that improve the financial sustainability and quality of services, and pilot innovations.

In addition to the $80-million loan provided through the International Development Association, the financing package also includes grants totaling $25 million. These comprise $17 million from the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents, to soften (“buy-down”) the interest rate of the loan, $5 million from the Integrating Donor-Financed Health Programs Multi-Donor Trust Fund, and $3 million from the Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases Challenges in Low and Middle-Income Countries Multi-Donor Trust Fund. In-kind contributions from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, will also be provided.

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