Washington D.C., June 29, 2021 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$ 68 million loan to strengthen epidemiological surveillance and response capacity to public health emergencies in Peru.
Peru's public health surveillance system is centralized, with most of the technical capacity and resources in Lima. This situation has limited the system’s response capacity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Peru has reported 1.9 million COVID-19 cases and more than 180,000 deaths.
Strengthening the capability of the health system to detect cases in a timely manner and to reduce disease transmission is essential for preparing for and responding to health emergencies. Public health surveillance services must monitor and integrate data on several topics, such as environmental health, disease incidence and prevalence of risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases, among others. Additionally, the public health system must generate and disseminate information in a timely, accessible and adequate manner.
"The effective control of disease outbreaks requires a series of processes, among which surveillance and public health intelligence are key components," said Marianne Fay, World Bank director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. "That is why we support this project to strengthen the capacity for the rapid detection of possible outbreaks or epidemics and the timely implementation of control measures to reduce their impact," she said.
The project will finance the modernization of the Disease Surveillance and Control System, including the infrastructure, equipment, software and training necessary for its operation. It includes the construction and equipping of the National Center for Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Diseases and three macroregional public health centers, the expansion of the National Health Laboratory, as well as the equipping of 21 regional public health laboratories and 29 regional epidemiological and health surveillance offices.
Additionally, the project will support the implementation of new molecular biology lab techniques, which will facilitate the decentralized diagnosis of COVID-19 and the identification of other pathogens. It will also strengthen the production and exchange of information and coordination among the different health entities. The project will provide technical and financial assistance to strengthen capacities in public health, environmental health and health intelligence. Finally, it will include a mechanism to support preparedness and rapid response to prioritized health emergencies during project implementation.
Project financing totals US $ 86 million, of which US $ 68 million are financed by the World Bank and US $ 18 million by the Peruvian government.
World Bank Group COVID-19 Response
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed over $125 billion to fight the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs and jump start a climate-friendly recovery. The Bank is also providing $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments.
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