TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN (19 December 2022) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a financing package of up to $8.39 million with Nephrocare Health Services Central Asia LLC (NephroPlus) to establish four dialysis centers as part of a public–private partnership (PPP) arrangement to enhance health care service delivery in Uzbekistan. The transaction represents ADB’s first financing of private health care in Uzbekistan and supports the country’s first international health care PPP. 

The financing comprises a loan of up to $5.03 million from ADB’s ordinary capital resources and administration by ADB of a loan of up to $3.36 million from the Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP). The funds will primarily be used by NephroPlus to design, build, operate and maintain the dialysis centers in Tashkent city, the Republic of Karakalpakstan, and the Khorezm region as part of a PPP arrangement with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The dialysis center in Tashkent will have 160 dialysis machines, making it one of the world’s largest dialysis centers. 

“Dialysis allows people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to lead productive lives,” said ADB Private Sector Operations Department Investment Specialist Amanda Tan. “The need for dialysis services in Uzbekistan has far outstripped supply, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, so this project will improve the availability and accessibility of much-needed dialysis services in the country. This project demonstrates how the private sector can play a role in closing critical gaps in health care service delivery.”

An estimated 30,000 patients currently suffer from CKD in Uzbekistan, with an estimated shortage of over 3,500 dialysis machines in the country. The four new centers will deliver quality dialysis care for at least 1,100 patients including hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis services. The government will pay the fees for these services.

ADB will also support NephroPlus to develop and implement a gender action plan to increase women’s participation in technical and skilled work in the dialysis treatment centers through specific training, and to enhance gender equality measures in its workplaces. NephroPlus also aims to ensure women make up half of the personnel trained to use dialysis machines and to conduct dialysis treatment.

“We are pleased to introduce peritoneal dialysis for the very first time in Uzbekistan to improve access to dialysis for patients in rural areas. We are happy to be the private partner for Uzbekistan’s first international health care PPP, and to embark on a relationship with an international financier such as ADB as we continue to grow our operations,” said NephroPlus Chief Executive Officer Vikram Vuppala. 

Nephrocare Health Services Central Asia LLC is a subsidiary of Nephrocare Health Services Private Limited, one of the largest providers of dialysis services in Asia and the Pacific with more than 300 centers. Its services include in-center dialysis, peritoneal dialysis, Dialysis on Call, Dialysis on Wheels, and Holiday Dialysis. The company designs, builds, and operates centers that provide high-quality and affordable dialysis services in India, Nepal, Uzbekistan, and the Philippines to enable patients on dialysis to lead healthy, happy and productive lives.

LEAP is an ADB-managed fund capitalized with a $1.5 billion commitment by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Established in 2016, LEAP focuses on delivering high-quality and sustainable private sector infrastructure projects that reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency, and offer accessible and affordable health care, education, and communication services to ADB’s developing member countries.

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.

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