(CTN News) – The World Bank has approved $258 million for Pakistan to improve its primary health care systems and to accelerate the country’s efforts toward universal health coverage, according to an official statement.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved $258 million for the National Health Support Program (NHSP) to strengthen primary health care systems and accelerate efforts towards universal health coverage in Pakistan.
“The program complements ongoing investments in human capital and builds on health reforms that aim to improve quality and equitable access to healthcare services, especially in communities lagging behind national and regional-level health outcomes,” the World Bank said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Najy Benhassine, Country Director for Pakistan at the World Bank, said Islamabad is making strides in health reforms to ensure access to primary healthcare, especially for children and women during pregnancy and childbirth.
Strengthening provincial health systems is essential to boosting the country’s human capital and helping its citizens live healthier lives.
According to the financial institution, its program will focus on reforms in three main areas including health-care coverage, quality of essential services, governance, and healthcare financing.
According to Hnin Hnin Pyne, the leader of the program’s Task Team, “NHSP provides a national forum for the government to exchange lessons and collaborate on achieving quality health financing and coverage of essential health services”.
“This also promotes better coordination among development partners for future health investments and strengthens engagement between public and private facilities,” Pyne concluded.
NHSP is co-financed with $258 million from the International Development Association and 82 million from the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), including a $40 million grant for protecting essential health services in the midst of multiple global crises.