AFDB to fund pri­vate health care in La­gos with $20m

The Punch - - BUSINESS & ECONOMY - Ever­est Amae­fule, Abuja

•W’bank projects sub-sa­ha­ran Africa’s growth at 3.6%

The African De­vel­op­ment Bank says its board has ap­proved the sup­port of pri­vate health care sys­tem in La­gos, Nige­ria with a loan of $20m.

A state­ment is­sued by the bank in Abuja on Mon­day said the fund would help Santa Clara Med­i­cal Lim­ited to fi­nance the de­vel­op­ment of a hos­pi­tal and re­fer­ral clin­ics in La­gos.

Ex­plain­ing the rea­son for the fund­ing, the bank said Nige­ria’s largest health care mar­ket, La­gos, lacked an ad­e­quate sup­ply of qual­ity sec­ondary and ter­tiary fa­cil­i­ties, with only about 700 to 1,000 qual­ity beds for a pop­u­la­tion of over 21 mil­lion peo­ple.

It is in re­sponse to this sit­u­a­tion, that the Board of Di­rec­tors of the African De­vel­op­ment Bank has ap­proved a se­nior loan in naira (equiv­a­lent to $20m) to Santa Clara Med­i­cal Lim­ited, the bank said.

By sup­port­ing in­vest­ment in health care in­fras­truc­ture, the bank will help the Nige­rian gov­ern­ment to de­velop hu­man cap­i­tal through im­proved ser­vice de­liv­ery in the health care sys­tem, it added.

The state­ment quoted AFDB’S Di­rec­tor of In­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and Trade De­vel­op­ment, Dr. Abdu Mukhtar, as say­ing that poor med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties force 30,000 Nige­ri­ans to spend $1bn per an­num on med­i­cal tourism abroad.

Mukhtar stated, “This sit­u­a­tion cur­rently forces over 30,000 Nige­ri­ans to spend over S1bn on med­i­cal tourism for spe­cialty treat­ments over­seas. Com­plet­ing this project will al­low the coun­try’s health care sec­tor to ben­e­fit from some of these re­sources. This is an im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment.

“In spite of re­cent im­prove­ments, Nige­ria’s health in­fras­truc­ture re­mains rudi­men­tary and in­suf­fi­cient to cater to the coun­try’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion.”

The hos­pi­tal and re­fer­ral clin­ics will be sit­u­ated in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions in La­gos and will upon com­ple­tion in 2020, pro­vide a full spec­trum of high qual­ity gen­eral and spe­cial­ist health care ser­vices at com­pet­i­tive prices, the AFDB added.

It is ex­pected to have pos­i­tive eco­nomic and so­cial ben­e­fits for the city of La­gos and will cre­ate around 250 tem­po­rary jobs dur­ing the con­struc­tion pe­riod and 600 jobs over its oper­a­tion phase, ac­cord­ing to the lender.

“More im­por­tantly, it will sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove pri­vate health care ser­vices by of­fer­ing qual­ity gen­eral med­i­cal ser­vices in ad­di­tion to spe­cialty ser­vices such as orthopaedic, nephrol­ogy, urol­ogy, car­di­ol­ogy and neu­ro­surgery that are largely un­avail­able in the coun­try,” it added.

Mean­while, the AFDB has es­ti­mated that in­vest­ment needs for in­fras­truc­ture in Africa are in the range of $130bn to $170bn a year, much higher than the com­monly cited $93bn.

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