Africa and the Middle East
Africa and the Middle East
More from Africa and the Middle East
Portfolio for Impact and Innovation
Portfolio for Impact and Innovation
More from Portfolio for Impact and Innovation

Challenge

The rate of blindness and vision impairment in Sub-Saharan Africa is twice the global average. Although blindness is often preventable, many patients lack access to affordable cataract surgery to preserve their vision. In Cameroon, an estimated 48,000 surgeries are needed each year to treat new cases of cataracts.

Solution and Impact

A $2 million loan is helping the Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute provide affordable surgery to thousands of patients. The financing to this project was structured as a Development Impact Bond (DIB), a pay-for-performance loan in which lenders earn higher returns when the hospital reaches more patients. During the project’s first year, the financing helped the hospital screen more than 50,000 patients and complete more than 2,300 cataract surgeries. Low income patients received the sight-saving surgery for free or at a subsidized rate, and the quality of surgeries exceeded World Health Organization standards with nearly 70 percent of surgeries achieving a good visual outcome on the day after surgery.

The hospital is also performing better financially than anticipated after its first year and is on track to become financially sustainable within five years.