The Inter-American Development Bank approved a $27.5 million loan to help enhance the coverage and quality of health services in Honduras, mostly among poor women and their children.
An additional $6.7 million from a previous IDB loan for the health sector were reassigned to provide further support, taking total lending to $34.2 million. At the end of the four-year program, the population covered by decentralized health care is anticipated to reach nearly 230,000.
The program is expected to help reduce the percentage of children between 6–24 months of age with chronic malnutrition from the current 31% to 26%; of those with anemia from 58% to 50%; and of pregnant women with anemia from 20% to 12%.
The amounts of one-year-old children receiving vaccinations, prenatal care for expectant mothers and of checkups in the first week after birth are all expected to grow dramatically too. Also, two neonatal intensive care units in high-demand areas will be expanded and three health care facilities will be rehabilitated, helping slash the mortality rate in hospitals with expanded neonatal wards by one-third.
As a result of these changes, the average wait to visit a specialist in maternal/child health care is expected to drop by more than half and the wait for surgery by one-fourth.