Healthcare focus tackles the heart of the matter

Monday, August 24, 2009

I have been in Nairobi for 10 weeks, but in terms of knowledge and experience accumulated it feels like aeons. I am working as an intern with Acumen Fund, a global social venture fund. It provides equity and debt financing to enterprises that use market-based approaches to supply goods and services to the base of the pyramid – people earning under $4 (€2.79, £2.42) a day.

My focus is on healthcare systems in East Africa, in particular mapping out the ecosystem for healthcare products and services for low-income consumers. I am also looking for pipeline investment opportunities that have the potential to improve the health and wellbeing of our target market.

Government spending on healthcare in Kenya is 5.1 per cent of gross domestic product or $16 per capita, far short of the $34 per capita recommended by the World Health Organisation. And in a country where nearly 60 per cent of the population is below the poverty line, 51 per cent of healthcare expenditure is paid out of pocket.

As a result, there is a tremendous need to strengthen the private sector’s ability to provide affordable, accessible and quality healthcare in low-income communities.

Source: Financial Times (link opens in a new window)