Kenya: IFC lends US$12.7m to Avenue Group

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank, has lent US$12.7m to Kenyan healthcare provider Avenue Group in support of the company’s strategy to grow its healthcare offering and boost patient reach by 20% across the country over the next five years.

Avenue, part of the Evercare Group, an integrated healthcare delivery platform in emerging markets across Africa and South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Nigeria, currently serves more than 430,000 patients a year. Evercare is wholly owned by the Evercare Health Fund, a US$1bn emerging markets healthcare fund managed by TPG and backed by its global impact investing platform TPG Rise.

The nine-year loan will enable the company to develop new healthcare facilities and upgrade existing hospitals and clinics to expand its primary care footprint and improve its secondary and tertiary offerings. Avenue’s expansion strategy includes creating a radiology department at its Kisumu hospital, installing state-of-the-art operating theatre equipment at its Kisumu and Thika hospitals, adding a new wing to its Parklands hospital and building five new clinics across Kenya to meet growing demand for healthcare services.

Healthy demand

The transaction reflects IFC’s strategy to support private healthcare providers in Africa, helping them meet the soaring demand for quality healthcare and supporting governments to expand health services to all parts of the population.

Kenya’s private health services market is the second most established in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa, but supply gaps remain. Additionally, by 2030, it’s projected that deaths due to non-communicable diseases will rise by 55%, meaning there will be more demand for specialist chronic disease management and services.

“IFC’s role in the healthcare sector is to complement government efforts to leverage the private sector to help meet the growing demand for quality healthcare,” said Amena Arif, IFC country manager for Kenya. “Our investment in Avenue will increase the availability of healthcare at state-of-the-art facilities across Kenya, enabling more people to get the primary and advanced care they need.”

The lending conforms to IFC’s approach to sustainability. Governed by IFC’s Sustainability Framework and Corporate Governance methodology, its financing is designed to help IFC’s clients improve their business performance, enhance transparency, engage with the people affected by the projects, protect the environment, and achieve greater development impact.

Avenue will also benefit from IFC’s advisory services.

Avenue’s five new clinics, adding to the existing thirteen, will be integrated with the group’s three secondary and tertiary hospitals across Kenya, allowing doctors to seamlessly refer patients to receive more advanced medical care where needed across its platform.