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Economic and Social Development Programme: Strengthening Paraguay's Rural Healthcare System

February 28, 2023

Country Assistance Division 5,
Second Management Department

To Strengthen Paraguay's Fragile Rural Healthcare System

Paraguay has a fragile rural healthcare system. As the threat of COVID-19 spread to rural areas, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare of Paraguay requested the Government of Japan to provide small ambulances and mobile X-ray equipment for deployment nationwide, including rural areas. The small ambulances needed to be four-wheel drive vehicles that could handle the severe road conditions in rural areas and in line with the public ambulance design specified by the Ministry. Discussions were held to realize the procurement quickly and as requested.

Close Communication with Paraguay Even with the 13-Hour Time Difference from Japan

While a lockdown was put in place in Paraguay, the country is landlocked, and river transport caused various issues, including cargo stoppages at transshipment ports. The Ministry’s officials adjusted to the time difference and web-conferenced with Japan from their homes. The mission to deliver equipment to the provinces was accomplished with the help of JICS’ local coordinator, the cooperation of suppliers, and the generous support of the Embassy of Japan. The Government of Paraguay expressed its profound gratitude to Japan at the handover ceremony held in February 2022.

Procured ambulances (Courtesy of Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, Republic of Paraguay)

Project Overview

Procurement of Medical Equipment Contributing to COVID-19 Countermeasures

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to rage in Paraguay, on August 5, 2020, the Government of Japan decided to provide ¥300 million in grant aid to the country to help strengthen its COVID-19 countermeasures and healthcare and medical system. Based on this grant, JICS began procurement procedures for mobile X-ray equipment and small ambulances.

Counterpart of Agent Agreement Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Paraguay
End-user Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Paraguay
Grant Amount ¥300 million
Exchange of Notes (Bilateral Agreement) August 5, 2020