Small health clinics that provide such a critical source of care in Sub-Saharan Africa often struggle to access financing to buy essential diagnostic equipment, modernize their facilities, or expand to reach more patients. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, financing has become even harder to access, and local businesses that make personal protective equipment also need financing to ramp up production to meet growing demand.
Solution and Impact
Financing to Medical Credit Fund is providing loans to many of these clinics in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, so that they can provide a higher level of care to a greater number of patients.
Medical Credit Fund has provided more than 4,000 loans to small hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and diagnostic centers, and is now responding to COVID-19 by providing additional loans to clinics, and to manufacturers and distributors of supplies such as face masks, eye protection, gloves, gowns, and hand sanitizers.
In May, Medical Credit Fund provided its first COVID-19 loan to Ansell Pharmaceuticals Limited, a Kenyan supplier of medical products that will help local clinics combat the pandemic. Ansell had been unable to obtain traditional bank financing to expand its operation.
Medical Credit Fund also combines financing support with training to help these small health businesses establish a strong track record of borrowing and repaying loans so that they can become eligible for larger loans from financial institutions. In response to the pandemic, it has worked to help small clinics set up COVID-related call centers and adopt other practices to maintain safety and help prevent disease spread.