AfDB Supports Health System Development in Equatorial Guinea
Tunis, 29 October 2008 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan of € 15.982 million to finance a health system development project in Equatorial Guinea.
The Health System Development Support Project aims at building the national health system’s capacity to deal with communicable diseases and provide quality healthcare with a view to improving the health status of the population.
It will focus on maternal health, blood safety and immunization services. The direct beneficiaries will be some 101,500 pregnant women and women of child-bearing age who account for 10% of the population and some 223,300 children under 5 years old who constitute 22% of the population, as well as health workers, and the population in general.
The Project will be implemented over five years, from 2009 to 2013, and will also promote the use of health services by the population, notably in the disadvantaged areas. Projections are that the project will improve health indicators. The curative consultation rate is expected to rise from 30% in 2005 to 60% in 2013, antenatal coverage rate from 86% to 95% in 2013, and births attended by qualified personnel from 65% in 2005 to 90% in 2013.
The project will enhance poverty reduction efforts by contributing to greater and improved access to quality social services. Equatorial Guinea is ranked 127th out of 177 countries on the Human Development Index (2007/2008). While the country’s macroeconomic performance has improved in recent years, the social situation of the population has not.
The AfDB experience in the domain will be deployed in this special partnership with a middle income country with regards to building the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to manage the health sector and design effective communicable diseases control programmes. It will also provide technical support to the government in the design and implementation of a health infrastructure coverage extension programme to be funded from its own resources. These two actions will help to support the country’s efforts towards achieving the millennium development goals.
A follow up to the adoption of the country’s National Economic and Social Development Plan for 2020 by its second economic conference held in November 2007, the project will help to reduce poverty by contributing to the achievement of the objectives defined in the plan, particularly with regards to increasing access to social services. Significant financial resources will be injected into the country’s economy for infrastructure development and employment creation.
The project is consistent with the 2008-2012 Bank strategy for Equatorial Guinea in that it will contribute to human capital development so as to provide the country with quality public services in health and education. The government will provide UA 15 million or 50% of the total cost of the project, which marks the country’s re-engagement with the Bank after a decade.
The African Development Bank Group started operations in Equatorial Guinea in 1978. To date, the Group’s cumulative commitment in the country stands at US$ 80 million for 18 operations.
* 1 UA = US$ 1.55722 as at 29/10/2008