The World Bank has approved a $150 million loan towards essential health services in the east and southeast. The money will go towards the second health project which is expected to cost $200 million, including the government’s contributions.

The project is an expansion of an existing programme, and will cover about one third of the country and about 16 per cent of the total population of around 60 million. Lasting seven and a half years, it will include the improvement of management in healthcare services.

Basic health services will be improved primarily for low-income families in 23 provinces, focusing on safe motherhood and midwife training, and child nutrition and monitoring. Funds will go towards the construction and equipment of clinical training centres, urban and rural health centres, public health laboratories, cold storage for vaccines, and medium-size hospitals.