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ADB approves $100m to improve secondary healthcare in KP

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  • Programme aims to improve health services at secondary hospitals in KP, among other objectives.
  • ADB official says Pakistan faces unprecedented flooding, risk of waterborne diseases.
  • KP suffers from high infant and maternal mortality rates at 53 per 1,000 live births.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million results-based loan to help strengthen the quality of secondary healthcare in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The programme will help improve the delivery of health services at secondary hospitals by modernising infrastructure and equipment, ensuring clinical protocols, standards, and guidelines are implemented and improving human resources planning and medicine supply chain management, said an ADB press statement received on Thursday.

“While the coronavirus placed an enormous strain on essential health services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and across the country, Pakistan now faces unprecedented flooding exacerbating the risk of waterborne diseases,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov.

“This programme will make a key contribution to improving the quality of secondary hospital services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and while it was conceived before the monsoon, it will also help people physically injured by the floods and support efforts to control the spread of infectious diseases,” Zhukov added.

According to the statement, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s health sector faces significant challenges, including outdated secondary healthcare facilities and equipment and inadequate quality assurance standards and processes.

The province suffers from high infant and maternal mortality rates, at 53 per 1,000 live births and 165 per 100,000, respectively.

“ADB’s assistance will help sustain health reforms started by the provincial government and strengthen the resilience of the health systems to future pandemics,” said ADB Senior Health Specialist for Central and West Asia Hiddo Huitzing.

“It will benefit an estimated 38 million people, including women in need of maternal healthcare services, and will also create jobs in the health sector,” Huitzing added.

Since 1966, ADB has committed over $37 billion in loans, grants, and other forms of financing to promote inclusive economic growth in Pakistan and improve the country’s infrastructure, energy and food security, transport networks, and social services.

In response to the floods, ADB is preparing a significant response package to support people, livelihoods, and infrastructure immediately and in the long-term.

The bank has already approved a $3 million grant to fund the immediate purchase of relief goods such as food supplies and tents. ADB is also processing a separate counter-cyclical package to help Pakistan weather the impacts of external shocks.

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Latest News

Train hits dumper at Gojra level crossing

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At an unmanned level crossing in Gojra late on Sunday night, a train carrying two Rehman Baba Express drivers was injured when it struck a dumper.

Rehman Baba Express struck a dumper at Gojra level crossing No. 99 while traveling from Peshawar to Karachi, according to details. Two train drivers were stranded inside the debris, and the train’s engine sustained significant damage in the crash.

When rescue personnel arrived, they broke the engine’s body to free the drivers who were still in critical condition. All of the passengers were safe throughout the collision, according to railway authorities.

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Latest News

There won’t be a total solar eclipse today in Pakistan.

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This Wednesday will be the first full solar eclipse of the year. But it won’t be visible in Asia.

Around 11:07 am PDT, or 9:07 pm local time in Pakistan, the eclipse will initially be visible near the Pacific Coast of Mexico. After that, the eclipse will pass through a large region of the United States, from Texas to Maine, and into Canada.

The total eclipse will last for four minutes, and the eclipse will continue for five hours and ten minutes.

The eclipse will proceed into Texas, passing through over a dozen states before reaching southern Ontario in Canada, according to NASA. At around 5:16 p.m. NDT, the eclipse will leave mainland North America and go out of Newfoundland, Canada.

According to NASA, there is a path where the eclipse will be visible in its entirety, and outside of this area, spectators may notice a partial eclipse, in which the moon covers part of the sun but not all of it.

In the ensuing two decades, there won’t be another full solar eclipse. On October 2, South America will witness the second solar eclipse of the year. Yet it will just be a portion of it.

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Business

Pakistani stocks are rising, and the KSE-100 breaks the 69,000 barrier.

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The benchmark KSE-100 Index increased 1.76 percent on Monday, passing beyond the 69,000 barrier for the first time in its history. This maintained Pakistani stock market’s record-breaking run, as investors remained upbeat about potential rate cuts by the central bank.

The most recent advances also follow Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s iftar dinner given by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Makkah, at a time when Riyadh is anticipated to announce an approximately $1 billion investment in Reko Diq, one of the world’s greatest reserves of copper and gold.

After reaching a high of 69,720.03, the KSE-100 Index concluded at 69,619.98 with a net gain of 1,203.20 points by the time trading was closed for the day. This was due to international investors, both individual and institutional, making purchases.

The meeting between Shehbaz and the Saudi crown prince, also referred to as MBS, may open doors for investment in a variety of industries, including mining, energy, and agriculture.

With record-high energy and interest rates driving up the cost of conducting business to an unaffordable level, investors are clamoring for foreign investment to prop up the economy.

Any improvement in this area would not only contribute to the rupee’s appreciation but also increase the value of cheap equities due to the anticipated purchasing frenzy, as buyers will not pass up the chance to purchase at the reduced prices.

However, there is a big question mark over the heightened expectations that the State Bank of Pakistan will begin reducing interest rates following the consumer price index (CPI) showing a steady fall in inflation over the past three months, particularly the greater than anticipated decline in March.

The reason is that, given Islamabad’s desperation to secure another package from the Washington-based lender, there is an impending hike in gasoline costs in addition to power and gas charges. This move will further sustain the inflationary pressure under the IMF criteria.

Meanwhile, the most recent US data has reduced expectations for potential rate reduction by the Federal Reserve, which is driving up the price of gold as speculative purchasing occurs.

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