JICA to help Tamil Nadu improve COVID-19 prevention capacity

RT-PCR test equipment will be given to 10 institutions; online seminars will be held to improve patient management

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has partnered with the Tamil Nadu Government to improve the capacity for COVID-19 prevention.

The focus will be on technical cooperation in the provision of RT-PCR test. JICA recently signed a ‘record of discussions’ with the State. Under the project, RT-PCR test equipment will be provided to 10 public health institutions. The equipment will also be used in the treatment of other communicable diseases to reduce morbidity and mortality.

JICA will also facilitate online seminars and workshops to improve the management of COVID-19 patients at medical facilities.

It had earlier signed an agreement with the Centre to provide 25,537 million Yen (roughly ₹1,548 crore) in Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan to improve the State’s quality of urban healthcare services.

The project is aimed at enhancing the capacity of hospitals by upgrading facilities and equipment with an emphasis on non-communicable diseases. The primary components of the initiative is to upgrade tertiary hospitals and strengthen referral hospitals, secondary care and primary health care hospitals and hospital management.

Saito Mitsunori, chief representative of JICA India, said it had signed two ODA loan agreements, worth 80 billion Yen (approximately ₹5,333 crore), with the Indian Government to strengthen the country’s public health system and implement an integrated social protection scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. “Also, we provided 300 oxygen concentrators in emergency assistance when the country was fighting the second wave of COVID-19 this year. With the implementation of this technical cooperation project for COVID-19 prevention capacity improvement, the healthcare system in Tamil Nadu will be strengthened and will support the reduction in the prevalence of COVID-19, as well as other infectious diseases. In the face of the ongoing pandemic, JICA stands by India, and will continue to provide necessary assistance in its fight against the virus,” Mr. Saito said.

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