Socio-economic wellbeing Socio-economic wellbeing

Closing the health equity gap in Africa

Rural areas account for only 25% of healthcare professionals

  • Sub-Saharan Africa
Closing the health equity gap in Africa

According to the World Health Organization, African nations would need to increase their health workforce by about 140% to achieve enough coverage for essential health interventions. Beyond the severe shortage of health professionals, the workforce is concentrated in the big cities, which means that rural areas can only boast of about 25% of the health professionals that the average capital of a sub-Saharan country has.

The brain drain also has a disproportionate impact: in Nigeria, 63% of newly trained doctors wind up working abroad. On an individual level, healthcare costs account for a substantial percentage of the average household’s annual budget, the second leading cause of impoverishment.

Transform Health Fund

This new impact fund started investing in scalable healthcare solutions in sub-Saharan Africa to scale proven innovative models that improve access, affordability, resilience and quality of healthcare in Africa.

The fund is a joint venture between HFC and Africinvest, bringing together commercial, public and private donor investments from Royal Philips, Merck & Co, Inc. (known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada), the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Swedfund, FSD Africa Investments, Grand Challenges Canada (with funding from Global Affairs Canada), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Netri Foundation, Anesvad Foundation, Chemonics International and MCJ Amelior Foundation.

Bolstering the healthcare ecosystem

The Transform Health Fund (THF) is an innovative blended finance fund that will invest in locally led healthcare supply chains, care delivery and digital solutions in Africa. Under the management of AfricInvest, a leading pan-African private equity, venture capital and private debt investment platform, the fund will finance companies that improve health system resilience and preparedness across the continent.

The THF will provide financing to scale high-impact health enterprises serving vulnerable communities while offering risk-adjusted returns to investors. The Fund is expected to bolster healthcare systems in Africa, which face severe financing and capacity gaps—challenges made more difficult by COVID-19 and climate change—while working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC).