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Maternal and child hospital network in Honduras will benefit from $30 million IDB loan

Beneficiaries will include 29,000 women and 12,500 newborns in the departments of Intibucá, Lempira, and Valle

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will provide $30 million to help finance the maternal and child hospital network in the departments of Intibucá, Lempira, and Valle in southwestern Honduras, one of the poorest areas of the country. The goal is help reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in hospitals and improve coverage and quality of services through an innovative management model.

The program will benefit 29,000 women of childbearing age and 12,500 newborns by significantly increasing the number of deliveries attended by health care professionals, improving care in the postpartum period for the mother and newborn, increasing the number of women receiving obstetrical care, and addressing problems of obstetric and neonatalcomplications.

The program will finance expansion and rehabilitation of infrastructure and equipment for the Enrique Aguilar Cerrato Hospital in Intibucá, the Juan Manuel Gálvez Hospital in Lempira, and the San Lorenzo Hospital in Valle, in addition to improvements in obstetric and neonatal care in regional and national hospitals that make up part of the network.

The hospital network in Honduras has reached a saturation point and suffers from lack of coordination. As a result many mothers and children do not receive adequate care, particularly for emergency situations.The large numbers of patients going to Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula to seek care is also overwhelming the hospitals in these cities.

The program includes an innovative decentralized management model in which the Ministry of Health signs agreements with three civil society organizations to administer the hospitals in their areas. A management framework will establish general regulations between the ministry and the managers. Additional annual agreements will be made with each manager that include details of services to be provided, goals, and finances.

The departments selected for inclusion in the program have the highest maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the country. Principal causes of mortality are respiratory conditions (61.2 percent), infections (26.4 percent) and premature birth (4.0 percent).

The IDB financing consists of a loan from the ordinary capital for $21 million for a 30 year-term, with a grace period of 5½ years, and an interest rate from the Single Currency Facility; and a loan from the Fund for Special Operations for $9 million for 40 years with a grace period of 40 years and an annual interest rate of 0.25 percent.

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