Project to Prevent Up to 2,800 Deaths in Bahia, Brazil

November 4, 2010

WASHINGTON, November 4,2010 – The World Bankapproved a US$ 60 million loan for the State of Bahia, in Northeastern Brazil,to reduce infant and maternal mortality.  Through coordinated work in clean water supply,sanitation and basic health care, the Integrated Health andWater Management Project is expected to avertbetween 1,324 and 2,810 deaths during its six year implementation period,particularly of infants and mothers, and result in almost US$ 750 million insavings and increased productivity for the State. 

The Government ofBahia has made reducing disease and mortality, particularly among youngchildren and mothers, a very high priority in its strategic plan,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Director for Brazil. “This innovative program will help theState integrate multi-sector interventions to achieve this, greatly boostingresults over an uncoordinated approach.

According to Fernando Lavadenz, World Bank Project Manager, “project implementation will be based onresults, in which financing is linked to the achievement of key indicators andper-capita improved service provision.” Together with institutionalstrengthening of implementing and monitoring agencies, the result-based modelwill ensure that the State’s investments have maximum impact, explained the Bank’s Co-Manager, Manuel Contijoch.

Health has significantlyimproved across Brazil over the last ten years, but less so in the State. In 1997, infant mortality rate in the State was 44.82 per 100,000live births, dropping to 27.3 by 2006, while Brazil’s average is 20.7. Despitethis significant reduction, the rate is still the seventh highest amongBrazil’s 27 states.

An integrated water and health strategy is key to reduce these figures. A studyin the State capital of Salvador (1997-03) shows an average of 21 percentreduction in infectious intestinal diseases prevalence among children 0-36months old, and up to 43 percent in areas of highest prevalence, as a result ofimplementing a sanitation program. In 2005, only 31.7 percent of rural households were connected tothe State water supply network, compared to 94.6 percent of urban households.

The project will supportincreased access to clean water, sanitation and basic healthcare inmunicipalities most affected by infections intestinal diseases through selected interventions in the health and watersectors, including:

  • Vaccination campaigns, establishment of family health teams andthe expansion and improvement of the quality and efficiency of maternal andneonatal health care services in 25 selected state hospitals.
  • Provision of adequate water resources management and theconstruction of simplified rural water supply systems and sanitation modules.

The project will alsoimprove technical capacity inthe involved institutions, contributing to the modernization of the health,water, and planning sectors.  This includes the State secretaries of planning, water andsanitation, and the State Accounts Court, to review and monitor investment operations.

This is a commitment-linked IBRD Flexible Loan with variable spread option,to be disbursed in five years, repayable in 29 years, including a 4-year graceperiod with a custom repayment schedule with all conversion options.  Since 1950, the WorldBank has invested approximately US$ 3.4 billion in Bahia, including this loan. 

Media Contacts
In Brasília
Mauro Azeredo
Tel : (+55 61) 3329-1059
In Washington
Gabriela Aguilar
Tel : (202) 473-6768