A new emergency loan facility of over $30 million dollars is available to private and small and medium enterprise health providers in Nigeria and four other high malaria burden African countries.
The Open Doors African Private Healthcare Initiative loans will support healthcare providers in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to continue offering essential health services, including malaria treatments, to more than five million Africans, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The facility was created by the Health Finance Coalition, a group of leading philanthropies, investors, donors and technical partners focused on mobilising significant private investment to achieve transformative healthcare impact in Africa.
“Private sector healthcare providers deliver nearly 50 per cent of all healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa, including life-saving interventions such as early malaria diagnosis and treatment, ante-natal care and routine vaccinations.
“If left unaddressed, these vital health needs could overwhelm already overburdened health systems and add to the loss of life during the pandemic.
“Projections in 2020, for example, estimated that moderate disruptions in treatment seeking could lead to as many as 100,000 additional malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
“As countries have shut down sectors of their economies and asked citizens to remain at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, all health providers have seen a decrease in demand for services.
“For private healthcare providers, this also means decreased revenues, putting them at risk of closing during a time when access to care is already a challenge,” a statement by the Global Health Strategies said on Monday.
According to the statement, of the five million patients that the loan facility can impact, almost three million are low-income patients, and approximately 2.4 million are women and 1.4 million are children, who are disproportionately at risk of malaria and other infectious diseases.
“The loan facility will be managed by Malaria No More and will be administered through the Medical Credit Fund, a non-profit health investment fund.
“Loans are expected to average $17,000 per provider to help stabilise operations, buy essential medical equipment, including personal protective equipment, and finance small-scale construction to protect patients from COVID-19 infection.” (NAN)