Kenya is among three East African countries set to benefit from a Sh 500 million direct loan as part of the COVID-19 response from the United States’ International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
The announcement made through the US Embassy in Nairobi said DFC has made the first disbursement of US$ 5 million direct loan to Africa Healthcare Network (AHN) – the largest operator of dialysis centres in East Africa.
AHN is the largest and most expansive dialysis services provider in East Africa with 18 dialysis centers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda offering high-quality, affordable care.
The DFC funding will allow AHN to support growth throughout Sub-Saharan Africa as it continues to build and operate additional dialysis centers through partnerships with leading hospitals in the region.
The project is part of DFC’s comprehensive COVID-19 response through which the agency is mitigating the economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the DFC’s Global Health and Prosperity Initiative under which the agency is working to strengthen global health systems.
“DFC continues to support global health and sustainable economic growth in developing countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said DFC’s Vice President of the Office of External Affairs and Head of Global Gender Equity Initiatives Algene Sajery.
“This investment in AHN will expand access to affordable, high quality healthcare across Sub-Saharan Africa through its operation of lifesaving dialysis centers,” said Sajery
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions to health services worldwide and has impacted the ability for countries to address and respond to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Those living with NCDs, including chronic kidney disease (CKD), are at an increased risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19.
Independent studies estimate that there are over 1 million patients with CKD in Sub-Saharan Africa requiring dialysis and the region requires over 50 times the current number of centers to meet the demand.
DFC’s financing will help increase patient access to safe dialysis treatment and help mitigate disruption to essential health services.
DFC is America’s development bank and partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today in such sectors as energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology.
DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets.