The African Export-Import Bank (Afrieximbank) has entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kings College Hospital (KCH) London and the Nigerian Ministry of Health to collaborate in developing a centre of excellence for healthcare in Nigeria.
Afrieximbank launched the Centre of Excellence initiative in partnership with KCH in 2014 seeking to change the pattern of the high number of deaths across Africa as a result of inadequate healthcare facilities.
Nigeria was selected Nigeria as host country for the first centre on the basis of a macro-economic and sectorial study.
“It is well known that Africans are among the largest populations that travel for medical services globally, with Nigeria alone spending about $1 billion in medical tourism,” Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank said.
The Centre will provide specialized cancer and sickle cell disease treatment and cover clinical care, diagnostics, research and education.
Prof. Ghulam Mufti, a non-executive director of the Board of KCH and a professor of haematological oncology at the hospital said the Centre would enable Nigeria better deal with common ailments in Africa, particularly non-communicable diseases.
He added that KCH would ensure a strong research component and the transmigration of latest technological and clinical advances to the centre which would be instrumental in attracting medical professionals back from the Diaspora.
Afrieximbank, KCH and the Ministry of Health will jointly raise funding and develop relationships, expertise and activities in the development of the Centre.
The three entities will also collaborate to build capacity; provide technical support and promote integration with national and private healthcare insurance schemes; as well as exchanging information and building links to teaching hospitals and other training facilities.
Commending Afrieximbank for the initiative, Nigeria’s Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole noted that such investments make a significant contribution to the GDP saying, “Investments in health are a prerequisite for economic development.”
The MoU also provides for special privileges to be granted by Nigeria to ensure optimal implementation of the project with Adewole further giving his ministry’s assurance of full support to make it a success.
It was signed in Abuja, Nigeria.