Loan facility to address COVID-19 impacts on African health care

Loan facility to address COVID-19 impacts on African health care

The Malaria No More Health Finance Coalition has announced the launch of a $30 million emergency loan guarantee facility for private small- and medium-size enterprise (SME) health providers in five African countries.

To be managed by Malaria No More, the Open Doors African Private Healthcare Initiative will work to address the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the private health sectors in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. To date, the initiative has received a $700,000 investment from the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative, enabling a $17.7 million loan guarantee from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, and grants totaling $1.5 million from the Rockefeller, Skoll, and MCJ Amelior foundations. Combined with additional support from the USAID's Center for Innovation and Impact, the effort is on track to unlock $30 million for SME health providers in the five countries.

Loans awarded through the initiative will support efforts by healthcare providers to provide critical health services, including treatment for malaria. In support of those efforts, the Medical Credit Fund, a nonprofit health investment fund, will administer the loans and also support the purchase of critical medical equipment and small-scale construction aimed at protecting patients from COVID infection.

"With COVID-19 putting tremendous financial pressure on health budgets across Africa, we need creative financing solutions to help governments achieve their ambitious health goals," said Ray Chambers, WHO ambassador for global strategy and health financing and chair of the MCJ Amelior Foundation. "The Open Doors African Private Healthcare Initiative, which supports private health providers through a blend of grants and return-seeking capital, is a leading example. I hope to see strategies such as this one scaled up in the months to come."