Samoa, Asian Development Bank sign $8 million tala grant

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 02 June 2021, 12:00AM

Samoa and the Asian Development Bank have signed an USD$8 million grant agreement that will assist with funding the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. 

The grant agreement was signed on Monday, 31 May, 2021, according to a statement published on Twitter by the A.D.B. Pacific, the bank’s operations in the Pacific that began in 1969.

“A.D.B. and Samoa signed the $8 million grant agreement to help fund the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in Samoa was signed on 31 May,” reads the tweet.

“The financing will be used in Samoa by the Systems Strengthening for Effective Coverage of New Vaccines in the Pacific Project.”

The project, as explained by the A.D.B. Pacific, is delivering vaccines and health systems in the Pacific to Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa.

A.D.B. Executive Director Syurkani Kasim signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Samoa and Director General Leah C. Gutierrez signed on behalf of the A.D.B.

“The proposed Systems Strengthening for Effective Coverage of New Vaccines in the Pacific Project will form part of the regional response to reduce the number of cervical cancer cases and other infectious diseases in children and women,” states the A.D.B. web site.

The project proposes to use the introduction of new vaccines and early detection through communicable disease platforms to drive necessary improvements in the public health system in selected Pacific countries in line with the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergency.

Human papillomavirus (H.P.V.) causes almost all cervical cancers through communicable disease transmission. Cervical cancer is a major cause of premature death in the Pacific causing nearly 500 deaths in 2010 and is therefore a leading cause of death among women in 2010 across the Pacific region, the A.D.B. says.

“It is largely preventable through cost effective interventions of early detection and HPV vaccination. Immunization is pro-poor, providing relatively larger benefits to low-income households,” the A.D.B. added.

The project is expected to impact women and children.

During project preparation, consultation and participation will include: group discussions with (potential) beneficiaries, health workers, and community-based organizations; consultation of health staff and district health managers, sub-national level government administration, central ministries, and partners; and where appropriate, workshop with ministries, partners, and nongovernment organizations.

The executing agency for Samoa is the Ministry of Finance.

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 02 June 2021, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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