Washington, DC —The World Bank today approved a credit of US$110.83 million to help the Indian state of Tamil Nadu improve the effectiveness of its health system, both public and private.
The World Bank’s involvement in the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project will help introduce new approaches in the way the health sector functions in the state, such as promoting collaboration with the private sector, adopting quality assurance mechanisms, and addressing the growing burden of non-communicable diseases. While the health system in Tamil Nadu has been fairly effective in providing basic health needs to its people, it is expected that the goals sought in this project will demonstrate the impact of cutting-edge reforms.
Tamil Nadu has successfully delivered preventive services, like immunization, with the result that there has been considerable improvement over time in its infant mortality rate (IMR) and the under-five mortality rate. From 1992 to 1999, IMR declined from 71 to 48 per thousand, and the under-five mortality rate dropped from 97 to 63 per thousand. However, these rates are still much higher than those in Sri Lanka and the neighboring State of Kerala, where, for example, IMRs are 12 and 16, respectively.