World Bank Backs Moldova's Rehabilitation and Human Capital Boost

Chisinau, March 6, 2024 -The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved a $40 million loan to Moldova for the Modernization and Improvement of Rehabilitation Services Project (MIRSP) to assist the country's efforts to reform health services, preserve human capital and enable its citizens to benefit from world-class practices in the management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Moldova has one of the highest age-standardized premature mortality rates due to NCD, largely driven by cardiovascular diseases, which caused 37 percent of deaths before the age 70 in 2019. In 2022, the World Health Organization estimated that 1.6 million Moldovans had at least one condition that would benefit from rehabilitation services. Therefore, much can be done to prevent and manage NCDs, from ensuring that patients have access to hypertension medication, are supported in living healthier lives, to having access to emergency care following a stroke and rehabilitation services, so as they are able to recover faster.

"Through a combination of infrastructure investments and prevention activities in primary care settings, this collaboration between the Government and the World Bank aims to ensure that fewer citizens will suffer adversely from non-communicable diseases," said Inguna Dobraja, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. "It will also ease the financial burden on patients in need of emergency and rehabilitation services following a catastrophic health event."

A core element of the project is to better enable the timely treatment of strokes and heart attacks, within the first critical hours of an episode, and to then enable patients to access rehabilitation services to enable their return to work and family life. In addition, the project will also support critical activities in primary care and at the population level to raise awareness of NCDs and prevent the likelihood of catastrophic events.

The project will help to build and operationalize the Government's new vision for rehabilitation services and support the regionalization of care. Moldova's ground-breaking plans to improve stroke, cardiac and rehabilitation services for vulnerable populations will improve human capital and ensure that citizens and families throughout the country can benefit from higher quality care. It will do so by also strengthening digital services so that patients in hard-to-reach areas can benefit from care without having to travel long distances.

Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, over $2.1 billion has been allocated to more than 70 operations in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes 11 active projects with a total commitment of $602.9 million. Areas of support include regulatory reform and business development, modernization of government services, tax administration, land registration, education, roads, health, and social sectors, including the COVID-19 emergency response, agriculture, water and sanitation, and energy.

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