IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a $4 million equity investment in AAR Health Care Holdings, one of Africa’s leading health care providers. AAR Healthcare will expand its operations to provide quality health services for more patients. IFC’s investment is part of a $15 million fundraising exercise by the company, marking the largest capital increase by an entity in the East African healthcare market.
AAR Healthcare aims to expand its outpatient network, and enhance specialist consultation and acquire inpatient facilities in Nairobi, Kampala and Dar es Salaam. It is one of the few primary and secondary health care providers in the region. The company currently operates 28 clinics in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, serving over 500,000 outpatients annually. IFC’s investment will enable AAR Healthcare to serve an estimated 600,000 additional outpatients each year by 2018.
Beyond funding, IFC will support the company’s growth by providing access to the World Bank Group’s networks and global expertise. The company’s other shareholders include Swedfund and the Investment Fund for Health in Africa), an IFC portfolio fund established in 2007 dedicated to private healthcare companies in Africa.
AAR Healthcare Chairman, Dr. Frank Njenga, said “AAR has taken a strategic approach to open secondary care hospitals across the region that will bring quality healthcare as close as possible to the patients. AAR’s new Karen
Health Centre, for example, will provide general, gynaecological, paediatric and nutritionist consultations, and comprehensive services such pharmacy, laboratory and radiology, all under one roof.”
AAR Healthcare Managing Director, Mark Achola said the separation of AAR Healthcare company from its sister company, AAR Insurance will ensure that clinics’ services not restricted to AAR members. “AAR Healthcare runs as a separate entity and operates like any other hospital, including serving members of other insurance companies, and not only those from AAR Insurance”, he clarified.
Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for East and Southern Africa said, “IFC is committed to helping expand access to high quality health services. IFC supports AAR’s goal of becoming the first integrated healthcare provider across East Africa to increase competition and improve services for patients. Innovative private providers like AAR are able to reach a large number of patients and can offer advanced medical equipment and services that may otherwise not be available.”
In a recent report, the World Bank Group found that 50 percent of health expenditure in sub Saharan Africa is financed by out-of-pocket payments from individuals. IFC’s “Health in Africa” Initiative harnesses the potential of the private sector to meet the continent’s health care needs.
Through the initiative, IFC invests directly in healthcare companies, mobilizes finance for health SMEs through banks and private equity funds, and works with governments on public-private partnerships in health.
IFC is the world’s largest multilateral investor in healthcare in emerging markets, with $2.5 billion worth of investments in 150 health care projects in 50 countries. Through its investments and advisory services, IFC aims to improve standards of quality and efficiency in healthcare, facilitate the international exchange of best practice, and create jobs for skilled professionals. IFC has a Health and Education team for Sub Saharan Africa is based out of its Nairobi office.