ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA (17 March 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has reallocated $1.4 million from a health project in Mongolia to procure essential medical equipment for early detection, emergency care, and management of severe respiratory diseases in wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. ADB also approved a $225,000 small-scale technical assistance to strengthen Mongolia’s national capacity for infection prevention and control.
“This ADB assistance will improve its ability to respond to and contain the spread of a potential COVID-19 outbreak in the country,” said ADB Country Director for Mongolia Pavit Ramachandran. “Building readiness in hospitals and strengthening preparedness are areas identified by the government as among the most pressing requiring immediate assistance.”
The $1.4 million in funds is reprogrammed from the Fifth Health Sector Development Project for Mongolia. ADB approved a concessional loan of $30 million for the project in December 2012 to strengthen safe blood transfusion, medical waste management, and hospital hygiene and infection prevention and control.
The reallocated funds are providing more than 570 pieces of equipment for diagnosis and treatment of patients with respiratory conditions at 30 district and provincial general hospitals and 4 tertiary level hospitals in Mongolia. The equipment includes portable digital X-rays, ventilators, patient monitors, oxygen concentrators, infusion, and injection pumps and nebulizers.
The small-scale technical assistance will assist in strengthening national resources mapping and coordination. It will introduce an incident management approach and train health workers on infection prevention and control at national and local levels.
ADB has played a key role in strengthening Mongolia’s health system since 1993, providing seven loans totaling $167.04 million, eight grants for $40.48 million, and 18 technical assistance projects amounting to $13.45 million. The projects have supported reforms in primary health care, hospital services, and medicine procurement; the establishment of a health insurance framework; and the development of health infrastructure in the capital city and aimag (provincial) centers.
ADB’s COVID-19 response in Asia and the Pacific to date includes $2 million to enhance detection, prevention, and response in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Greater Mekong Subregion; another $2 million to support response in all its developing members; and a CNY130 million ($18.6 million) private sector loan to a pharmaceutical distributor, Jointown Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd., in Wuhan, PRC to support the continued supply of essential medicines and personal protective equipment. ADB also approved a $3 million grant to support
the Philippine government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the purchase of emergency medical supplies and the delivery of effective health care services. ADB also made available $200 million through its Supply Chain Finance Program for companies manufacturing and distributing medicines and other items needed to combat the pandemic.
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.