The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on June 26 approved a total of $251 million to improve access to high-quality healthcare services in Assam.
“The World Bank is committed to supporting the Government of India’s development efforts in the North East of the country,” said Auguste Tano Kouame, World Bank Country Director for India. “In Assam, greater access to reliable health services will help people save money and time – and be more productive.”
The Assam State Secondary Healthcare Initiative for Service Delivery Transformation (ASSIST) Project ($251 million) will improve access to high-quality secondary healthcare services in Assam and directly serve at least 1.8 million people.
The project will increase access to comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care services and improve treatment and management of non-communicable diseases. The project will also upgrade up to 10 lower-level facilities to district hospitals in essential districts and strengthen the capacity of nurses and healthcare managers for better service delivery.
“Assam has made strides in increasing access to essential healthcare services, with 87% of women giving birth in a facility today compared to just 24% in 2005. “But the rise in non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes poses a double burden on the State’s healthcare system,” said team leaders Amith Nagaraj and Elina Pradhan. “This project will enhance the quality and efficiency of health care in the State and can potentially serve as a model for healthcare innovations for India’s North East region and beyond.”
The $251 million variable spread loan for Assam is from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) with a maturity of 10.5 years including a five-year grace period.