Healthcare Assistance

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $500 million loan for vaccine procurement, easing the financial pressure of the immunisation campaign on the government. If our goal is to vaccinate each member of the population, this will definitely bring us closer. It is this kind of monetary compensation that the government should seek for improving the conditions of hospitals as well. There is no denying that our healthcare system needs to be revamped and the only way we can facilitate that change is through external assistance.

Currently, vaccines dominate our import bill as the government pays nearly $100 million on procurement on a monthly basis. Despite this, there are still 119 million people that have not been vaccinated, entailing that there will be countless other costly shipments. Fortunately, the $500 million loan promised by the ADB will provide a good buffer and will give the authorities a chance to figure out alternative methods of financing without jeopardising the vaccination campaign.

Each day, 4745 cases of Covid-19 are reported and patients flood hospitals to seek treatment. Hospitals are at full capacity and vital resources are running out. This is excluding the problems of access and a lack of expertise to treat patients effectively. These are glaring problems that the pandemic has exposed within our healthcare system and with the rate at which the Delta variant is spreading, there is no room for any inefficiency. The cost incurred by not taking action right now will be too hefty for the country. Thus, the government should make medical development the centre of focus of the health policy going forward.

This strategy is bound to help us in the short and long-term as finances allocated to development will lead to better facilities and services that can be utilised in the future as well. At the same time, we must be cognisant of the fact that we cannot fund this development alone and must attract external funding from international entities, regardless of whether it’s a loan, grant or humanitarian aid.

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