MANILA, PHILIPPINES (6 October 2022) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $300 million loan to improve the quality of public health services in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guizhou Province, and Shaanxi Province, in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
While health system development has progressed, the PRC faces complex health challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted gaps and development needs in the government-led public health system. The pandemic has shown that health facilities are particularly vulnerable to admission surges that can negatively affect patient care and overburden facilities.
“This project aims to develop model centers of public health excellence in underdeveloped areas,” said ADB Senior Health Specialist for East Asia Najibullah Habib. “These centers will help deliver essential public health functions and reduce the risks of future public health hazards, including those related to climate change, for vulnerable groups. The high-quality training of public health workers supported by the project’s establishment of regional training centers will provide benefits beyond the project sites, including to neighboring countries.”
The Strengthening Public Health Institutions Building Project aims to protect, promote, and restore the health and well-being of residents; strengthen capacity for early warning, risk reduction, and management of health security risks; and strengthen prevention and control of major communicable diseases. Public health institutional capacity and policies will be developed through emergency preparedness and contingency planning, capacity building of the public health workforce, and establishment of modern health management information systems.
The project will also establish an integrated public health ecosystem, which includes an antimicrobial resistance surveillance system, laboratory support for the detection of emerging infectious diseases, training of public health workers, especially women, and the establishment and upgrading of hospital facilities. The project will also enhance international cooperation capability through training to promote gender equality and establishing regional knowledge cooperation programs.
The total project cost is $631 million, with $331 million in counterpart financing from the government. The project is expected to be completed in 2027.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.