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Nagaland seeks World Bank support in health sector

Paiwang

KOHIMA, JUNE 15: Minister of Health and Family Welfare, P Paiwang Konyak today appealed to the World Bank and development partners to continue to assist Nagaland in health sector, especially in infrastructure development in the rural areas.
Speaking at the inaugural programme if the first ever “Northeast Knowledge Conclave for Health” organized by the World Bank at Taj, Vivanta, Guwahati , the Minister remarked that Nagaland although being the second oldest State in the Northeast Region next to Assam, lacks infrastructure developments including health care facilities due to the fragile law and order situation in the past.
However, Konyak stated that with the support of all the stakeholders and under the efficient leadership of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of the State, there is peace in Nagaland for nearly a decade and urged the World Bank and development partners to continue to assist Nagaland.
The Minister said the Northeast Conclave for Health has brought together the 8 Sisters of North-East India in a common platform and said the event was significant to showcase the achievements in responding to the State’s specific health issues and for an in-depth discussion on the health challenges that needs to be addressed.
Highlighting the activities for Nagaland State under Nagaland Health Project (NHP), Konyak informed that NHP was the first state level project funded by the World Bank, implemented by the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Nagaland, and the intervention started in the year 2015 as a pilot project in 2 districts and fully scaled up to the remaining 16 districts in 2017.
He said the first project component – Community Action for Health and Nutrition and was focused on Community Result Based Financing (RBF) where health intervention by health committees aim to improve Health & Nutrition outcomes at the community level based on the Nagaland communitization concept and after which District level RBF intervention was added.
In total, he said, the RBF component has been successfully implemented in 500 HCs (21 CHCs, 56 PHC, 100 SCs and 323 VHCs) including 11 District Hospital and CMO establishments.
In the last 7 years, all 500 health committees have been strengthened and revived; gender inclusion was addressed through the constitution of women co-chair in all the Health Centres while knowledge enhancement, awareness generation, sensitization on health and societal issues were efficiently strengthened, the Minister informed.
Further he said the RBF investments in the health committees, has in turn encouraged many communities to chip in through community contribution and participation, as many as 115 communities has contributed in cash to their own health committee and almost all has contributed in kind or physical labour while social audit was also conducted by village councils, student bodies and said these practices needs to be sustained for the system to improve.
The second component on Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) is an input-based financing, the Minister informed saying investments have been made using the World Bank guided procurement process.
He maintained that Nagaland Health Project investment is made in WATSAN-infrastructural development, Alternate energy-SOLAR, Supply Chain Management, IT and sustainable Biomedical Waste management as per the provisions of Biomedical Waste Management Act.
Also, to improve the efficiency of service delivery he said many digital platforms have been created in the form of Hospital Information System (HIS), Bio-medical waste management reporting system & Human Resource Management System Drug and Vaccine Distribution and Management System (DVDMS) along with other IT applications.
The project has also implemented the Drug and Vaccine Distribution and Management System (DVDMS) and constructed a State Warehouse to improve the supply chain management system.
He said civil repair and renovation works have been completed in four Nursing Schools and Para Medical Training Institute and 176 targeted health facilities while also Construction of State Ware House has been completed. Construction of the Library and Theatre Block at Nagaland Medical College Kohima is also under Nagaland Health Project, which is in progress.
In the midst of COVID pandemic he said immense additional support to the Department was provided by the Project by Supplying Oxygen cylinders and Concentrators across the State and the project has also Constructed oxygen generation Plant houses in 8 District hospitals and Installed Oxygen pipelines at various Health facilities.
He said NHP has demonstrated that there are many ways to promote the right economic incentives to support sustainable practices in finance by bringing together, on a voluntary basis, communities, Government and banks.
Availability of finance is a key challenge in facilitating systemic transitions and therefore he said the investments made by the World Bank through Nagaland Health Project should be sustained to ensure that the gains made over the years are consolidated. He also urged all the neighbouring States to foster the relationship and exchange ideas and good practices to learn from each other and move together with the rest of the other States in the country.
Commissioner and Secretary, H&FW, Y Kikheto Sema speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Health priorities in Northeast’ also echoed the Minister’s view on poor health Infrastructure in the rural areas of Nagaland and urged the GoI and the World Bank and other banks to continue supporting the North East States particularly Nagaland “as we failed to avail the EAP like other States”.
Sema also highlighted the initiatives taken by the State Government to improve the health scenario in the State like the CMHIS that was launched to promote Universal Health Coverage along with PM-JAY to ensure accessible and affordable health care to all its citizens.
Kikheto also stressed the challenges of the healthcare system on drug addiction, and the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and mental illness. He assured that Nagaland will end TB by 2025 as committed by our country, elimination of Malaria by 2025. However, he was sceptical of ending AIDS and HIV by 2030 as Nagaland has the 2nd-highest number of positive cases in the country. He, however, stated that the State is on a war footing to test, treat, and prevent diseases.
(Page News Service)

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