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IDB approves US$230 million loan to strengthen primary health care strategy in Argentina

The Inter-American Development Bank today approved a US$230 million loan to Argentina for a program to improve implementation of its primary health care strategy.

This initiative will strengthen the operation of public health service networks structured around the strategy of primary health care. It will develop a prevention and treatment model for chronic diseases based in the provincial primary healthcare systems; and it will strengthen the treatment capabilities of the primary health care services, consolidating programs for supply management and training of health care workers targeted to health promotion and disease prevention.

“The program will also strengthen the stewardship role of the federal and provincial ministries of health by introducing a management-by-results monitoring and evaluation system for the networks’ operation,” said IDB Team Leader Hugo Flórez-Timorán. “The success of these efforts depends on bringing primary care closer to the public in its role as gateway to the system.”

“Funds will be provided to finance technical assistance for the formulation and implementation of provincial projects that incorporate management of chronic diseases, prioritizing hypertension and type 2 diabetes, as a proxy for strengthening service networks structured around the primary health care strategy,” added Flórez-Timorán. “Methodological guidelines and indicators will be strictly followed. Each province is expected to define the most pertinent activities to build up their networks.”

Resources will also be allocated to consolidate provision of inputs and essential medicines and training for health professionals in the rational use of medicines under the Remediar program, noted for its high standards of efficiency and transparency in assuring access to drugs at the first level of care in the public healthcare system. Additionally, training to health care workers will be provided under the Community Doctors Program to reorient their skills towards primary health care.

The Ministry of Health of Argentina will carry out the project.

The loan is for a 25-year term, with a five and a half year grace period and an adjustable interest rate. Local counterpart funds total US$57.5 million.

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