Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) has resumed its urban primary healthcare services after the project remained suspended for long six years.
Under the project, the city dwellers, especially poor women, children, new-born babies and their mothers, will receive free healthcare services from the ward-based health centres already established in the city.
The project titled "Urban Primary Healthcare Services Delivery Project: Additional Financing" will be implemented under a loan and grant contract signed between the Economic Relations Division and the Asian Development Bank.
Secretary of the ERD Kazi Shafiqul Azam and ADB Country Director Monmohan Prakash signed the contract on Thursday at a function at the NEC Conference Room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka, sources at the CCC said.
Asian Development Bank will provide US$612 million (Tk 5,000 crore) in soft loan and grant for development of primary education and healthcare services for the poor people in 11 city corporations, including the CCC, and 14 municipalities across the country, added the sources.
Chief Executive Officer of Chittagong City Corporation Md Shamsuddoha and the CEOs of other city corporations and municipalities were present at the meeting.
A senior official of the CCC said the Urban Primary Healthcare Project of the corporation will be a public-private partnership (PPP) venture to be implemented under the ADB financing.
The project was launched in the year 2001 for Chittagong City Corporation under the ADB loan but was suspended in 2012 at the beginning of its third package after completion of two five-year contracts.
Deputy Director of the project Hasibur Rahman said the healthcare services will be provided through selected non-government organisations (NGOs).
The NGOs will be selected through international bidding process and they will employ their workforce and the Local Government will coordinate the work, he added.
The CCC will monitor the project implementation keeping special watch on whether the people are getting due services from the project under the Local Government Division.
Replying to the question why the services were suspended in the middle of the packages in the CCC, he said the project did not suffer halt in other city corporations and municipalities; it was stalled only in the CCC.
Despite incorporation of the project in the year 2012, the CCC demanded that the cost of the project be paid to it and they will run the services through selected NGOs.
The Local Government Division and ADB did not agree with the CCC's proposal and excluded the CCC from the project, he said.
The services will be provided in three packages and each package will have maternity facilities with five to six healthcare centres and satellite clinic.
Thirty per cent of the services is free and the service recipients will be given red cards by the respective ward councillors.
The card holders will be given all necessary medicines free of cost and the pregnant women will go through the normal process for delivery.
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