AKIPRESS.COM - The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $45 million loan to help improve the quality of rural primary healthcare services in Uzbekistan. The project will help expand the scope of service delivery and bring those new services closer to the people, the Bank reports.
“Uzbekistan’s healthcare sector has made solid strides in improving the health and life expectancy, but there is a pressing need to improve the quality of healthcare, especially in underserved areas of the country,” said Megan Counahan, Health Specialist at ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. “ADB will work closely with the Government of Uzbekistan to improve services by providing modern equipment and health workforce development.”
Despite improvements in health indicators since the country’s independence in 1991, there is a need to expand the scope of primary healthcare to help reduce premature death and disability from noncommunicable diseases, which are the leading cause of adult death.
The Primary Health Care Improvement Project, the first ADB health project in Uzbekistan since 2004, will strengthen primary health care services in rural areas by providing modern equipment to each of the 793 newly established family polyclinics. The equipment will increase the chances of overcoming Uzbekistan’s key health challenges, particularly those relating to heart disease, antenatal care, and chronic disease prevention.
The project will further enhance the skills of the health staff in those clinics by training almost 3,000 health technology operators, doctors, and nurses. It will also institutionalize key monitoring tools including pilot testing a digital health management information system, starting with the rural region of Sirdarya, and lead the way for the Ministry of Health to use those results to improve access, coverage, health, and well-being across the country.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.