MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $55 million concessional lending to help Mongolia improve its health sector with a new hospital, and safer blood transfusions and hospital services.
“Improving Mongolia’s health system is one of the best ways to ensure the benefits of the country’s rapid growth reach its entire population,” said Claude Bodart, Principal Health Specialist at ADB’s Mongolian Resident Mission. “Mongolia’s economic outlook is bright, and this represents an opportunity for greater health investments to improve the accessibility and quality of hospital services.”
ADB will assist the Ministry of Health to set up a new national blood transfusion center and an improved central medical waste management facility in Ulaanbaatar; provide equipment for hospital sterilization and microbiology laboratories to prevent and control hospital-acquired infections; and build a new hospital in one of Ulaanbaatar’s poorest districts to directly benefit more than 260,000 residents.
Hospital medical waste treatment and disposal is a major public health threat that leaves both hospital workers and the public exposed to inadvertent illnesses and infections. Inadequate facilities, equipment, and behavior of health care workers have led to the unintentional transmission of infections, including hepatitis B and C, especially among health workers. Hospital sewer systems are also of poor quality, resulting in environmental and public health risks.
Improved medical waste management, and prevention and control of hospital-acquired infections, will benefit about 13,500 health workers, especially those facing occupational risk because of unsecure blood products and processes. Nearly two million patients who receive treatment through these laboratories are also expected to benefit from safer conditions.
ADB will also help build a hospital in Songinohairkhan district, one of the poorest districts in Ulaanbaatar and a center for new rural migrants, which will include modern surgical and maternity services, diagnostic and laboratory capacity, integrated management of out- and in-patient departments, model nursing care, and advanced information technology tools for patient files, procurement, and financial management.
The hospital will be used as a model general hospital to be replicated in nine other districts in Ulaanbaatar under an amended health law requiring all general hospitals to provide at least seven specialized medical services.
ADB is the largest external financier of the health sector in Mongolia, and plays a key role in assisting the government in formulating and implementing health sector reforms. The loans are built on previous policy reforms and ADB health sector development initiatives. The World Health Organization and the German Federal Ministry of Health are cofinancing ADB’s support to the sector.