MANILA — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $30 million project to strengthen the Kyrgyz Republic’s health system and improve its resilience to infectious diseases.
ADB’s Strengthening Regional Health Security Project, which consists of a $20 million grant and a $10 million concessional loan, will improve the country’s laboratory diagnostics capacity and enhance the regional linkages of laboratories and hospitals in busy border zones.
“COVID-19 showed how important it is for countries around the world to strengthen their health systems and improve their abilities to detect and contain public health threats,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov. “ADB’s new assistance will help the Kyrgyz Republic address critical bottlenecks in regional health security and ensure the country’s compliance with international health regulations.”
Given its location at the crossroads of major east–west and north–south transport corridors, the large number of Kyrgyz migrants working abroad, and high cross-border traffic, the Kyrgyz Republic is critical to health security in the region.
The project will strengthen the capacity of four key laboratories in Bishkek and Osh cities, transforming them into the country’s leading national and subnational reference laboratories. It will develop a laboratory network of six public health laboratories and 11 clinical diagnostic laboratories in Chui and Osh oblasts, which will be upgraded and equipped based on modern quality and safety standards. The project will also conduct skills training for laboratory workers.
“The laboratory system plays a vital role in disease surveillance, diagnoses, and response,” said ADB Senior Health Specialist for Central and West Asia Brian Chin. “A strong laboratory system in the Kyrgyz Republic also ultimately benefits neighboring countries by enabling early threat warnings of communicable disease and supports the country’s own pursuit towards universal health coverage through improved access to quality and affordable diagnostics.”
ADB will also help strengthen the capacity of six hospitals’ emergency services and improve their linkages to reference laboratories in border areas and high travel zones in Chui and Osh oblasts.
The Kyrgyz Republic joined ADB in 1994. Since then, the bank has committed more than $1.3 billion in loans, $811 million in grants, and $69 million in technical assistance projects. ADB operations in the country focus on supporting inclusive growth and economic diversification, improving access to public and social services, and leveraging regional cooperation and integration.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.