EU aid for Himachal healthcare

Monday, 15 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh has received 32.5 million ($720,000) from the European Union (EU) as the first instalment of a 120 million ($2.5 million) grant to improve healthcare services in the state.

R.N. Mahanta, director state health services, said the central government had released 32.5 million. The EU wants to monitor the project before releasing the remaining amount, he said.

"The money will be used to provide training to state health officials that would also include computerisation till the block department level and installing semi-automatic analysers in various hospitals in rural areas," he said.

The state government has prepared a 1.05 billion ($23 million) project to improve the health institutions in the state.

It has also approached the German government for financial aid to implement the project. Talks are on to clear the project.

If cleared, the money will be used to renovate 38 hospitals and 66 community health centres (or dispensaries) across the state.

Officials said the first round of talks with KFW Bank had already taken place. The bank has asked the state government for a report on the institutions where the money would be utilised.

Himachal Pradesh has a population of about six million. Over 90 percent of its population resides in 20,000 villages, some of which are located in tough mountain terrain.

Source: IANS
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