14 June 2023, 14:00-16:00
Health care in Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst in the world, with few countries able to spend the $34 to $40 a year per person that the World Health Organization considers the minimum for basic health care. And despite widespread poverty, an astonishing 50% of the region’s health expenditure is financed by out-of-pocket payments from individuals.
Most of the region lacks the infrastructure to deliver health care and faces a severe shortage of trained medical personnel. Over half a million additional hospital beds required, better production facilities and distribution/retail systems for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. About 90,000 physicians, 500,000 nurses, and 300,000 community health workers need to be trained. As Africa's economies improve, the demand for good quality health care increasing further.
IFC estimates that over the next decade, $25-$30 billion in new investment will be needed to meet Africa’s health care demand. About half of the investments are expected to be made by for-profit entities, with the rest spread between social enterprises and nongovernmental organizations. Most opportunities will be in the small and medium enterprise sector. Meeting the demand can deliver strong financial returns and has an enormous potential for development impact, by expanding access to health services for the poorest people and reducing the financial burden on governments.