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Press Release

April 1, 2019

World Health Day: Working towards Quality Healthcare for a better tomorrow
- JICA celebrates World Health Day by strengthening healthcare systems in India and by reaffirming its commitment to universal health coverage -

New Delhi, April 1, 2019: The healthcare sector in India is growing with its strengthening coverage, and services. Healthcare has become one of India's largest sectors - both in terms of revenue and employment. The government's expenditure on the health sector has grown to 1.4% in 2018 from 1.2% in 2014[1]. Though the healthcare sector is witnessing an uphill boost in India but still there are challenges which needs to be dealt with, According to World Health Organisation (WHO) India is placed on 112th position among 191 countries in the world. There are issues like insufficient qualified medical professionals at rural community health centres, limited accessibility to affordable health care for low income group and low awareness of investment in healthcare policies. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been striving to support improving the healthcare facilities in India and to help Government of India attain a right mix and distribution of healthcare services. Since 1995-1996, through its Official Development Assistance (ODA) schemes, JICA has extended a financial support of 42.5 billion Japanese Yen, approximately INR 2,700 crore towards healthcare projects in India.

Speaking on the occasion of World Health Day, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office, said, "Our vision is ‘Universal Health Coverage', in line with WHO's goal for World Health Day 2019[2] of which the foundation is quality and accessible healthcare. We are working on programs that build capacity to improve the healthcare system by involving an inclusive approach to healthcare in order to achieve universal health coverage."

In 2016, JICA supported through Grant Aid, the construction of a state-of-the-art outpatient department (OPD) building which witnesses a daily footfall of 2,000 patients, at Institute of Child Health (ICH) and Hospital in Chennai. In order to help ICH deliver better healthcare services, JICA has provided for medical equipment and facilities to children, especially those from low-income groups. Now the hospital is functioning as "hub" hospital for child care.

Another example of JICA's work in India's healthcare space is its collaboration with UNICEF for polio eradication. Between 1996 and 2012, JICA provided Grant Aid of 8.3 billion Japanese Yen through UNICEF, to procure the polio vaccine and organize vaccination camps to eradicate polio from India. India has been declared polio-free as no new transmission cases have been registered in the past seven years.

In 2016, JICA committed 25,537 million Japanese Yen, approximately 1,650 crore for the Tamil Nadu Urban Health Care Project to expand capacity of key hospitals and to upgrade facilities and equipment in 17 cities of Tamil Nadu. JICA is also reinforcing human resource capacity to cope with increasing demand for prevention and control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Apart from direct support of JICA to the health projects in India, there are projects of other sectors funded by JICA which leads to improvement in the health of people. For example, JICA has supported two rural water supply & fluorosis mitigation projects in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan (Hogenakkal Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation Project and Rajasthan Rural Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation Project respectively). The targeted districts of both these states suffer from chronic water shortages and the groundwater contains a large amount of naturally derived fluoride. The JICA Project helps to have access to safe drinking water and thereby contributing to improvement of the living conditions in building healthy India.

On World Health Day 2019, JICA reaffirms its commitment to contribute to accelerate the achievement of universal health coverage in India.

PhotoDoctors treating patients at ICH Hospital, Chennai

PhotoSafe drinking water point at Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu enabled with JICA-supported Hogennakal Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation Project

About JICA

Established by a specific law as an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to promote international cooperation as the sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in the form of loans, grants and technical cooperation, so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.

For further information, please contact:

JICA India Office
Yuko Shinohara/Vini Sharma
+91 11 49097000


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