Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company in partnership with Stears Data, have launched the 2021 Africa Healthcare Report titled: ‘Impact Investing and Healthcare Financing in Africa.’
A statement by the company said the report provides context on the current state of healthcare in Africa and the gaps in the healthcare value chain.
The statement also stated that the report was divided into three sections that look at how much was needed to improve healthcare provision in Africa, the role of impact investing as a possible solution and what next steps African countries can take to encourage impact investing and healthcare financing on the continent.
The statement further explained that the report provides insights on the current state of healthcare in Africa, deep dives into the reasons for the deplorable state of healthcare in Africa whilst pinpointing key areas for investment.
Giving her keynote address during the virtual launch of the report, the founder of Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company, Dr. Ola Brown, shed light on the problems that have plagued healthcare in Africa and as well as the possible solutions.
In her words, “In order for quality healthcare to be supplied, someone has to pay for it; the government, the patient or an insurance company. In Africa all three of these parties (insurers, patients, and the government) face constraints and that no country in the world had achieved universal healthcare without significant state support.”
The statement remarked that the launch also featured a panel session with Dr. Ola Brown, Andrew Garza, Co-founder/COO, Lifestores Healthcare, Abieyuwa Obaseki, Senior Associate, Stears Data and moderated by Michael Famoroti, Co-founder/Chief economist, Stears Data.
During the panel session, Brown disclosed that poverty and financing constraints have prevented African countries from plugging their healthcare gaps, estimated at $66 billion, “and this is one of the several reasons why this report was written and where impact investing will come into play.”
Some solutions to fiscal constraints within government, which were highlighted during the panel session by Brown, were public private partnership (PPP) and other technological innovations.
The statement said: “When investments are made into healthcare, it creates a ripple effect on other unrelated issues that have continued to plague the continent. According to the Healthcare federation of Nigeria, investment in healthcare could create up to 16 million jobs across Africa, making the continent not just more productive, but also helping to combat security challenges.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light even more harshly on these gaps, and showcased how technology can help in bridging them. Impact Investing, being a more suitable way for financing this technology across the continent, can be introduced into the Africa healthcare value chain and will create sustainable impact in different ways, for example on the micro side – providing remote care to patients- among other things.”
The Cofounder of Lifestores Limited, Andrew Garza, one of Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company’s portfolio companies, revealed how impact investing has assisted his company in making cost-effective, genuine medicines easily accessible and affordable to ordinary Nigerians.
Garza who is also the Chief Operating Officer, explained how in the process of searching for cheaper drugs, Nigerians buy counterfeit drugs that pose huge health risks.
According to WHO, one in every nine women in Nigeria, dies during childbirth, so an investment in healthcare is an investment towards saving lives. African youths need jobs and healthcare gives jobs. Solve the job problem and you would have solved the economic problem.
In his closing remarks, the Founding Partner of Health Systems Consult Limited, Dr. Nkata Chuku, revealed that the country cannot continue to run out of pocket payment for health and expect to have positive change in healthcare, in the reduction of maternal mortality rate and the general quality of life.
He remarked that with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Per capita of $2,000, Nigerian government would be unable to fund healthcare for all, and this is where PPP comes in.