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Monday, May 27, 2024

World Bank aims to expand health services to 1.5b people

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The World Bank Group announced an ambitious plan to support countries in delivering quality, affordable health services to 1.5 billion people by 2030.

This is part of a larger global effort to provide a basic standard of care through every stage of a person’s life—infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

For decades, the World Bank Group has helped provide health services for women and children in more than 100 countries. A focused effort to become faster, work better with partners, and bring in the private sector has enabled the 80-year-old institution to pursue greater scale and impact.

The strategy to reach 1.5 billion people is focused on three core elements including expanding focus from maternal and child health to include coverage throughout a person’s lifetime, including non-communicable diseases; expanding operations to hard-to-reach areas, including remote villages, cities, and countries; and working with governments to cut unnecessary fees and other financial barriers to health care.

“Providing a basic standard of care for people throughout their lives is critical for development,” said World Bank Group President Ajay Banga.

“This ambition won’t be realized with a solo effort. It will require partners, a coalition of public and private sector, working together to expand access to health care services,” he said.

The bank said around 2 billion people face severe financial hardship when paying for health services. Intertwined challenges, such as climate change, pandemics, conflicts, societal aging and a projected shortfall of 10 million health-care workers by 2030, exacerbate the cycle of poverty and inequality.

The World Bank Group said it would combine financing, knowledge and partnerships to address this challenge.

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