Afreximbank to site first healthcare centre of excellence in Nigeria

20 Apr 2017
Financial Nigeria


Afreximbank said it expects the new Centre of Excellence in Nigeria to reduce medical tourism and reduce exodus of Nigerian doctors.

Benedict Oramah, President, African Export-Import Bank

The African Export-Import Bank announced today that it has selected Nigeria as the first host of its Centres of Excellence for Healthcare Services in Africa – an initiative designed to improve healthcare delivery on the continent. The Afreximbank said Nigeria emerged as the preferred country to host the first healthcare centre of excellence from a shortlist of three other African countries: Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania.

A team from Afreximbank and King’s College Hospital (KCH), London, will engage Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health to formalize roles and responsibilities ahead of the implementation of the new Centre of Excellence, the lender said.

“The Centre of Excellence initiative will make a significant contribution to the continent by helping meet the growing healthcare needs of Africans,” said Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, who also said that the initiative would enhance service exports, promote employment, and conserve foreign exchange.

In 2014, the Afreximbank and KCH formed a partnership to establish a network of centres of excellence in tertiary healthcare institutions across Africa in order to deliver a range of specialist healthcare services for patients.

The partnership is also designed to promote trade in health and medical services within the continent by supporting the development of first-class health and medical care facilities across the value chain.

Afreximbank said it expects the new Centre of Excellence in Nigeria to reduce medical tourism in Africa’s largest economy as well as in other countries on the continent. The Cairo-based multilateral lender also said it expects the new centre to reduce the exodus of Nigerian doctors going abroad to seek better pay.

Owing to inadequate medical facilities and personnel, Nigerians spend over $1 billion annually on medical tourism mostly to the United States, United Kingdom, India, and other Western and Asian countries. There are reportedly over 10,000 Nigerian-born physicians practising outside Nigeria.

“We are delighted that the location of the first Centre of Excellence has been confirmed. We look forward to sharing our healthcare knowledge to benefit the people of Nigeria and beyond,” said Dr. Anwar Alhaq, Centenary Project Director at King’s College Hospital.

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