Johannesburg, South Africa, September 23,
2020 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a partnership
with South African-listed Imperial to jointly develop a modular screening
and treatment healthcare infrastructure program in sub-Saharan Africa to
respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supported by IFC, Imperial, an integrated
market access and logistics provider including healthcare infrastructure,
pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, is developing a pilot project in
South Africa to manufacture and deploy modular healthcare units that will
provide screening, treatment and other healthcare services to COVID-19
patients. The program’s aim is to expand services in densely populated,
low-income urban areas where access to healthcare is limited. Imperial
will further partner with IFC to develop additional pilots in other countries
in the region, including Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, identifying country-specific
needs and approaches that can be scaled up with the assistance of private
healthcare service operators and government partnerships.
Mohammed Akoojee, Imperial Group CEO, said,
“There is an urgent need to increase diagnostic and treatment capacity,
improve healthcare infrastructure, and provide medical supplies to underserved
communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This partnership will create
a much-needed model for doing so rapidly and effectively - and for supporting
communities at a time of great need.”
The project is part of IFC’s Upstream
business, an ambitious new growth strategy to address complex development
challenges by supporting market innovations, early stage project development
efforts, and regulatory interventions that will unlock opportunities for
The first pilot of the program, which launched
in South Africa in September 2020, includes five modular screening and
treatment centers for COVID-19 patients. These modular testing units can
be deployed in less than a day and have the potential to boost healthcare
options and help reduce infection risk among people and their communities.
Additionally, the modular treatment facilities created under the program
will contribute to primary healthcare infrastructure options beyond the
COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for underserved communities.
Adamou Labara, IFC’s Country Manager for
South Africa, said, “Our Upstream work is designed to look for innovative
ways to bring private sector financing to where it’s needed most, and
we’re excited to be able to partner with Imperial on new avenues for fighting
COVID-19 by expanding screening and treatment opportunities, and increasing
access to healthcare.”
Imperial’s work in the healthcare sector
includes market access and logistics services in over 20 African countries
- including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Malawi - and specializes
in the use of modular
medical infrastructure to deliver
primary healthcare. Imperial has also invested in and continues to support
Clinics NPC (Unjani), a nurse-led
network of modular clinics that provide primary healthcare to under-served
communities in South Africa. Imperial is leveraging the Unjani network
to deploy the first pilot in South Africa to support the expansion of COVID-19
screening and treatment capacity of existing clinics. The first five facilities
with Unjani are in the Guateng province, located in Tokoza, Villa Lisa,
Winterveldt, Kagiso and Orange Farm.
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is
the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital,
expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing
countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies
and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power
of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Imperial is an African and European-focused
provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions. With a focus
on five key industries -healthcare, consumer, automotive, chemicals and
industrial - we take our clients’ products to some of the fastest growing
and most challenging markets in the world. Ranked among the top 30 global
logistics providers and listed on the JSE in South Africa, we seek out
and leverage new technology to deliver innovative, end-to-end solutions.
Through our significant African footprint and international expertise,
and with the support of our 25 000 people, Imperial’s purpose is to connect
Africa and the world - and to improve people’s lives with access to quality
products and services.