Health SMEs in Africa to benefit from finance fund

A non-profit organisation, PharmAccess Group, has established a scheme, Medical Credit Fund (MCF), aimed at making inclusive health markets work in Africa.

MCF will deploy innovative digital finance solutions to increase investments in African health infrastructure and improve access to quality primary healthcare services.

The fund will start in its current countries of operation, which include Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda, before extending to other countries.

In a statement drawn from the website of the NGO, Managing Director, Medical Credit Fund, Arjan Poels, said: “Many health SMEs have poor infrastructure and equipment because of limited access to capital. This affects the quality of care they offer to patients who visit their facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of well-functioning health systems. MCF is geared towards driving equitable and quality healthcare by supporting healthcare clinics to improve the healthcare they deliver.”

Medical Credit Fund (MCF) was built on the back of Kenya’s advanced mobile money ecosystem. The first digital lending product ‘Cash Advance’ was launched in 2017 and provided in partnership with CarePay – a health financing platform.

Digital lending has proven crucial during the pandemic, with COVID-19 increasing mobile money use and reducing banks’ appetite for SME lending even further. Facilities risked closure and could not access banks loans to cover cash flow gaps or buy personal protective equipment (PPEs).

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