KENYA – Medical Credit Fund has made the first disbursement of loans under the second phase of its loan guarantee facility that targets small and medium-sized healthcare companies in Africa.

According to the company, this new phase of funding is expected to increase investments in African health infrastructure and improve access to quality primary healthcare services.

Arjan Poels the Managing Director of Medical Credit Fund says the second phase is also geared towards driving equitable and quality healthcare by supporting clinics to improve the services they deliver.

Poels has also revealed that the second phase of funding has received a catalytic investment of KSh900 million.

The fund, which is part of PharmAccess Group, a non-profit organization working to make inclusive health markets work in Africa, will first rollout the financing in its current countries of operation, which include; Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, then gradually extend to other countries.

The first beneficiary of MCF2 is Sori Lakeside Hospital based on the shores of Lake Victoria in Homabay County in Kenya. The hospital has received Ksh4.25Million from Medical Credit Fund.

“Attainment of Universal Health Coverage requires a balance between enabling citizens to access care without experiencing financial hardship as well as availability of healthcare facilities that offer quality care. We are harnessing the potential of the mobile phone to improve access to quality healthcare in Africa,” Isaiah Okoth, Country Director Kenya, PharmAccess Foundation said.

In many African countries, the public sector struggles to deliver healthcare to everyone who needs it. More than fifty percent of Africans use private healthcare facilities.

Many small and medium sized healthcare companies have poor infrastructure, equipment, limited means to invest in quality improvement and difficulty accessing capital from commercial banks.

Thus, Medical Credit Fund (MCF) was built on the back of Kenya’s advanced mobile money ecosystem to try and address these issues.

The first digital lending product ‘Cash Advance’ was launched in 2017 and provided, in partnership with CarePay, a health financing platform.

Through this digital lending product, a total of Ksh.7billion has already been disbursed with a repayment rate of ninety seven percent.

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).

Cash Advance was the solution due to its convenient and flexible nature, disbursing Ksh.2.4 billion in 2020 alone, and currently averaging Ksh.433 million a month in disbursements since the beginning of 2021.

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