In a courtesy breakfast meeting this morning at the Heritage Park Hotel, Health Minister Hon. Dr. Culwick Togamana had the chance to briefly greet and meet with the World Bank (WB) Mission currently in the country to provide technical support and guidance for the Ministry of Health implementation of the USD13 million worth COVID-19 Emergency Response World Bank funded project.
The project which kicked off last year aims to strengthen the response to COVID-19 Pandemic and health systems to prepare for future outbreaks of diseases and bolster health care service delivery through investment in health facilities, training of health workers, procurement of medical equipment and consumables.At the meeting, the World Bank mission team lead, Mr. Netsanet, Walelign Workie thanked the Health Minister and MHMS Senior Executive Management expressing sincere pleasure and honour to meet with the Minister and his team. “Your availability this morning really meant a lot to our mission team and demonstrates your commitment and interest to support the project and hence the health needs of your people”,
“On this note may I also express our congratulations to yourself and your team Minister for the important leadership role throughout the preparedness and response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and more importantly the exceptional ability to be able to strike a balance with the funds negotiated and mobilized from the bank to cater for COVID-19 response but also improving health system to benefit the people in the long run”, stated Mr. Workie.
Mr. Workie also highlighted that the Health Permanent Secretary, the Health Ministry Executive Management team and the Project Management Unit team responsible for the management and implementation of the World Bank-funded project have demonstrated capability and capacity to deliver project deliverables as work is on track.
In response, the Health Minister said that it was also an honour to meet with the WB mission stating that the funds received have played a very important role in the country’s efforts against COVID-19.
“We were able to procure important COVID-19 related personal protective equipment and infection, prevention and control supplies. Shortfalls from other health response components were able to be financed in a timely manner to continue responding to the community transmission of COVID-19 from the COVID-19 testing to logistics including many more. Thank you indeed”,
“Today as we progress the project to its infrastructure as part of health system strengthening component, we are indeed excited as work is now progressing well with our Project Management Unit team fully staffed and implementation of this component underway. More importantly for us to prepare for any similar outbreaks of diseases in the future and continue to deliver quality, affordable and easily accessible health care services especially to the majority of our population in the rural areas. All these would have been difficult if not for your trust and thus the funding support”, said Dr Togamana.
He wished the team well in the remaining days providing support to the team and urged health staff engaged in the project to gain as much as possible from the technical advise provided.
The World Bank Mission team have been in country last week holding meetings with health with site visits scheduled for this week including meeting with partners to improve better donor and development partner coordination.