India to fight AIDS, TB with WB loan | india | Hindustan Times
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India to fight AIDS, TB with WB loan

india Updated: Jun 08, 2007 15:51 IST

India will use around one-fourth of the $3.8 billion loan received from World Bank this year to improve healthcare services for women and children, besides fighting HIV/AIDS and TB.

The bank had sanctioned $3.8 billion to India for the year ending June 20 -- making it the single largest borrower -- of which around $922 million would be spent on various initiatives like providing proper healthcare facilities to children and women and the poor.

Of this $922 million, $502 million would be for child and women-specific healthcare schemes, World Bank Executive Director Dhanendra Kumar told PTI.

"Various programmes have been introduced to address the healthcare needs of women and children but these are not enough to help those in need," he said.

He said the infant mortality rate was still very high in India and the problem of malnutrition was very serious in India.

"Indian government is paying attention to improve public health infrastructure but this is not the real challenge. The real challenge does not lie in creating sufficient infrastructure but the real challenge is in managing the existing ones efficiently," Kumar said.

The multilateral financial institution is already assisting the Karnataka government in addressing the healthcare needs of women and children.

Kumar said the bank $420 million of the loan, to be allocated by June this year, will be utilised to fund programmes to fight against HIV AIDS and TB.

According to the bank, there are 5.2 million HIV patients in India, while 1.8 million people are affected by TB each year.