Up to 45 small and medium size private health providers have received loans under a joint Sweden-U.S. loan program to enhance availability of credit to the private health sector.
Ambassadors Scott DeLisi of the United States and his Swedish counterpart Urban Andersson last week visited Rhona Medical centre in Kansanga, thanks to guarantees from the two embassies. The programme has been billed as the first of its kind in Uganda.
In early 2014, Centenary bank passed the program’s mid-point mark, having made loans to private sector business ranging from clinics, to rural drug shops and diagnostic centres.
“Private clinics and drug shops form the first point of healthcare received for over 60% of Ugandans and enable ordinary citizens to access affordable and high-quality medical care,” said a joint statement from the two embassies.
Based on the success of the initial program, the statement added, the U.S. and Sweden launched another larger, $7 million loan program with Ecobank in 2013.
The statement noted that the visit by the two ambassadors reflects the importance that the U.S. and Sweden place on their commitment to grow and improve the quality of the private health sector in Uganda.
Rhona Medical Centre was established in 2002. It is registered with the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioner’s Council (UMDPC) and the Uganda nurses and midwives council. In July 2013, the facility acquired a loan of $40,000 from Centenary Bank under the program. The loan was used to purchase a dental X-ray, a scanning machine, a clinical chemistry machine, hematology analyzer, and desktop computers.
These investments have contributed to a significant increase in client volumes and annual revenues. According to owner Dr. Bemera Emmanuel Edward, thanks to this program, the facility experienced 177% growth in sales and a growth in clients from 40 to 380 per month.