Japan provides $31.4m assistance for maternal & child healthcare facilities, $2.9m for HRD  scholarships

Zubair Qureshi

Japan has extended a grant assistance of JPY3,445 million (approx. US$31.4 million) to Pakistan for the extension of maternal and child health care facilities in Sindh.

A signing ceremony in this regard was held and documents exchanged between Matsuda Kuninori, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and Zulfiqar Haider, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Tuesday.

Subsequently, Grant Agreement was signed and exchanged between Furuta Shigeki, Chief Representative of JICA Pakistan Office and Syeda Adeela Bokhari, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Under this agreement, a new maternal and child health center will be established at Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences (LUMHS), Jamshoro, which is a public medical institution serving as the regional hub hospital in Hyderabad district.

The maternal and child health center will have the departments of obstetrics and pediatrics, including a labor room, an obstetrics ward, a neonatal intensive care unit, a maternal and fetal intensive care unit, a laboratory and outpatient consultation rooms.

In addition, around 120 items of medical equipment including newborn incubators and ultrasonic diagnostic device are to be installed.

The project is scheduled to be completed by August 2024. With the opening of the center, access to maternal and child health services in the area will be substantially improved.

For example, three years after completion, the maternal and fetal intensive care unit will have nearly 100 patients and the neonatal intensive care unit will have more than 400 patients annually.

In addition, the annual number of deliveries and outpatients will also increase significantly.
As a result, local patients will not have to travel a long distance to Karachi.

For decades, Japan has put a priority on the health sector in the economic and social development of Pakistan, such as enhancement of maternal and child health, polio eradication, routine immunization and counter-COVID-19 measures.

In the last decade prior to the project in Jamshoro, Japan has implemented the following projects in Karachi and Islamabad in terms of maternal and child health:
Furthermore, Japan has been supporting the Polio Eradication program in Pakistan since 1996.

The grant and loan contribution from Japan has amounted to $226.37 million, it was stated by the embassy of Japan.

As far as Covid-19 is concerned, Japan has extended a total of $23.5 million in grant to Pakistan for supplementing its counter-COVID-19 measures as follows.

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