Borrower Spotlight: Medical Credit Fund
February 08, 2021
Our borrower, The Medical Credit Fund (MCF), is a non-profit health investment fund that supports private healthcare clinics and businesses in Africa by providing capital to strengthen operations and enhance access to affordable quality healthcare. Alongside local partners, MCF works to reduce investment risk and improve the bankability of the healthcare sector. MCF’s support has been critical for the accessibility and improvement of healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa throughout the pandemic. MCF recently reached a disbursement milestone of $100 million in loans and has supported thousands of clinics since our first loan to them in 2012.
Ansell Pharmaceuticals Limited, a local wholesaler and distributor of medical, pharmaceutical and surgical products from Kiambu County, Kenya, is among the first recipients of the Covid-19 loan by the Medical Credit Fund (MCF). The COVID-19 specific loans are earmarked for manufacturing, importation and/ or distribution of Covid-19 related commodities such as face masks, eye protection, gloves, gowns and hand sanitizer.
The Medical Credit Fund–part of the PharmAccess Group –finances small and medium-sized healthcare facilities in Africa in a bid to improve access to quality services for low-income patients.
Many small healthcare companies (health SMEs) aross sub-Saharan Africa have limited infrastructure, equipment, and means to invest in quality improvement. As a result, commercial banks often shy away from these health SMEs because they consider them to be too risky.
Dr. David Karanja, a pharmacist and owner of Ansell Pharmaceuticals says they are committed to providing quality and reasonably priced pharmaceutical and surgical products. “The loan from MCF is a timely intervention as it enables us to be in the frontline to supply the much needed medical equipment and related supplies to combat the pandemic,” he says.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that globally, 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID-19 response each month. For examination gloves, that figure goes up to 76 million, while international demand for goggles stands at 1.6 million per month. The WHO recently called on industry and government leaders to increase manufacturing by 40 percent to meet rising global demand.
Kennedy Okong’o, Director of MCF Kenya says: “The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the health enterprise into unprecedented times. Many health entrepreneurs have faced both health and economic impacts occasioned by low patient traffic and an interrupted supply chain. Our core business is to keep the health business running. That is why we have responded by developing Covid-19 specific loans and restructured existing loans to cushion our clients”.
MCF uses innovative financing solutions and digital technologies such as invoice discounting and digital loans to cater to the financing needs of health SMEs across Africa.
Dr Karanja says that he turned to MCF after his banks turned down his loan application. “My own bank turned me down and that is when I contacted MCF. The application process is easy. I furnished them with supply invoices and in three days the money was in my account,” he adds.
Some of the MCF clients include hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres, pharmacies and training institutes. MCF also provides healthcare providers with technical assistance to help improve their quality and increase their capacity.
By early summer 2020, MCF had issued 148million Kenyan Shillings worth of Covid-19 specific loans to manufacturers and suppliers of pharmaceutical supplies in Kenya and Uganda.
About Medical Credit Fund: The Medical Credit Fund (MCF) is a non-profit health investment fund that supports private healthcare enterprises in Africa by providing capital to strengthen and upgrade their operations and enhance access to affordable quality healthcare. Together with local partners, Medical Credit Fund works to reduce investment risks and improve the bankability of healthcare enterprises. Founded in 2009 by PharmAccess, MCF believes that by increasing the total amount of available capital for the health sector, healthcare providers can deliver better services for larger numbers of primarily low-income individuals. MCF has drastically increased the capacity of these clinics to provide higher quality maternal and child health services and to treat common conditions like malaria and diarrhea. Learn more about Medical Credit Fund and our other borrowers in our Portfolio List