• The World Bank has approved $1 billion to help India prevent, detect and respond to the covid-19 pandemic, and strengthen its public health preparedness
  • This is the largest ever health sector support from the multilateral lending institution to India.

About the project:

  • Managed by: The project will be managed by the National Health Mission (NHM), the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and will cover all states and Union territories. 
  • Purpose: 
    • Will address the needs of infected people, at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel and service providers, medical and testing facilities, besides national animal health agencies.
    • The fund will be used to procure testing kits, setting up of new isolation wards, including turning hospital beds into intensive care unit beds, infection prevention and control, and purchase of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and medicines, particularly for district hospitals and designated infectious disease hospitals.
    • Scale up efforts to limit human-to-human transmission: The project will immediately enable the government to scale up efforts to limit human-to-human transmission, including reducing local transmission of cases and containing the epidemic from progressing further. 
    • Scale up capacity: 
      • In parallel, interventions to strengthen the health system will be rolled out to improve the country’s capacity to respond to the covid-19 epidemic and be better prepared to respond to emerging disease outbreaks, including transmission between humans and animals.
      • This operation is expected to enhance surveillance capacities, strengthen diagnostic systems, and expand the capacity of laboratories. 
    • Social protection programmes: As the covid-19 is not only a health challenge, it has deep social and economic implications. In parallel, the project will work with equal urgency with the government on social protection programmes and economic measures that protect the livelihoods of people.

World Bank Group

  • The World Bank Group is a unique global partnership working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries with 189 member countries.
  • It works on issues ranging from climate change, conflict, and food security to education, agriculture, finance, and trade involving different stakeholders like nation-states, the private sector, civil society organizations, regional development banks, think tanks, and other international institutions. 
  • Together, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA) form the World Bank, which provides financing, policy advice, and technical assistance to governments of developing countries.

World Bank Group consists of five development institutions:

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) provides loans, credits, and grants.
  • International Development Association (IDA) provides low- or no-interest loans to low-income countries.
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) provides investment, advice, and asset management to companies and governments.
  • The Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA) insures lenders and investors against political risk such as war.
  • The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) settles investment-disputes between investors and countries.

National Health Mission

  • Launched in 2013 by the Government of India by subsuming the National Rural Health Mission and the National Urban Health Mission. 
  • It was further extended in March 2018, to continue till March 2020.
  • The main programmatic components include 
    • Health System Strengthening in rural and urban areas for - Reproductive-Maternal- Neonatal-Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A), and 
    • Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases. 
  • NHM envisages achievement of universal access to equitable, affordable & quality health care services that are accountable and responsive to people's needs.
  • The Mission seeks to ensure achievement of the following indicators:
    • Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) -Reduce it to 1/1000 live births
    • Infant Mortality rate (IMR) - Reduce it to 25/1000 live births
    • Reduce Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to 2.1
    • Prevention and reduction of anaemia in women aged 15–49 years.
    • Prevent and reduce mortality & morbidity from communicable, non- communicable and emerging diseases
    • Reduce household out-of-pocket expenditure on total health care expenditure
    • Reduce annual incidence and mortality from Tuberculosis by half.
    • Reduce the prevalence of Leprosy to <1>
    • Annual Malaria Incidence to be <1>

National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)

  • Previously known as National Institute of Communicable Diseases, NCDC is an institute under the Indian Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 
  • It was established in 1963 for research in epidemiology and control of communicable diseases and to reorganize the activities of the Malaria Institute of India (MII). 
  • Currently it has eight branches to advise the respective state governments on public health. The headquarters are in New Delhi.

Indian Council of Medical Research

  • It is an apex body in India for formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
  • It conducts, coordinate and implement medical research for the benefit  of the Society
  • It translates medical innovations into products/processes and introduces them into the public health system.
  • The governing body of the council is presided over by the Union Health Minister.