AfDB Board approves US $8.2-million senior loan for medical clinic in The Gambia

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank approved on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in Tunis, a US $8.2 million loan to The Gambia’s Horizons Clinic. The Horizons Clinic project to which the Board approved a US $8.2-million loan involves the design, building and operation of a 60-bed international standard, state-of-the-art medical facility in The Gambia.

The investment, the Bank’s first private-sector operation in the health sector and the first private-sector project in The Gambia, will provide diagnostic, surgical, and medical in-patient and outpatient services for patients both privately funded and charitably funded. It also comprises an outreach delivery service and a training centre for local health service capacity-building.

It will address the growing demand for high quality health services in The Gambia. It is estimated that at least 70,000-100,000 people including expatriates either have access to private medical insurance, pre-payment schemes and/or are able to afford to pay for the services out-of-pocket. The dividends to the Trust will be paid to the Clinic for its charity services to the poor.

In addition, the project will help alleviate the burden arising from the country’s underfunded public healthcare system. It will generate over 200 stable and temporary jobs. It also provides for significant training and capacity-building activities through the Trust as well as put programs in place for continued professional development for mid-level health workers in The Gambia and the West Africa.

The project is aligned with the development priorities of The Gambia, including its long-term strategy, Vision 2020, which highlights provision of better health infrastructure as its objective in health, among other instruments. It is also in line with the Bank’s Strategy 2013-2022 in terms of inclusive growth objectives by extending medical services to the poor and providing training for the local health professionals.