July 13, Colombo: The Government of Japan has agreed to provide a massive concessional loan of over Rs. 15 billion to Sri Lanka to implement the Health and Medical Service Improvement Project to prevent Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
As a result of bilateral discussion had with Government of Japan (GOJ), the GOJ has agreed to provide concessional loan amounting to Japanese Yen 10,639 million ( approximately Rs. 15 500 million) under the Special terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the implementation of the Health and Medical Service Improvement Project, the Finance Ministry said.
Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance & Mass Media on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Mr. Fusato Tanaka, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka office on behalf of JICA signed the Loan Agreement Friday (13) at the Ministry of Finance & Mass Media.
Non Communicable Disease (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases and cerebrovascular diseases have increased in the recent past in Sri Lanka due to apparent epidemiological, socio- economic and demographic transitions.
According to the statistics of the World Health Organization 75% of the mortality in Sri Lanka is caused by NCDs and cardiovascular diseases in particular are the leading cause of mortality accounting for 40% of the total.
The Health and Medical Service Improvement Project to prevent NCDs will address this issue by improving the facilities of tertiary care hospitals in Anuradhapura, Kandy, Kurunegala, Badulla and Trincomalee.
The facilities of the Bio Medical Engineering Services Unit of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine (MOH) and the training institutions for the Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLT) will be upgraded with new technologies.
The project will be implemented under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and it is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
The loan is at a low interest rate of 0.1% per annum (0.01% per annum for the consulting services to be paid within 40 years after a twelve-year grace period.
Exchange of Notes of the above project was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of Japan during the President's visit to Japan in March 2018.