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Dr. Benedict Oramah, President, AFREXIM Bank

African Medical Centre of Excellence wraps up successful Health Forum 2024 in Abuja

Abuja, Nigeria

The African Medical Centre of Excellence, Abuja (AMCE Abuja), a quaternary-level multi-speciality medical institution developed by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com) and King’s College Hospital, London, concluded its highly anticipated African Health Forum 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria, marking a significant milestone in advancing healthcare collaboration and innovation across the continent.

The forum brought together esteemed industry leaders, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders from across Africa and beyond to discuss critical issues facing the healthcare sector and to explore avenues for collaboration and progress.

The opening segment featured Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of Afreximbank, who provided valuable insights into the historical journey and mission of the AMCE. Following Prof. Oramah’s remarks, Prof Mohammed Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health, and Social Welfare, shed light on current healthcare challenges in Nigeria, particularly focusing on non-communicable diseases.

Keynote addresses from distinguished guests further enriched the dialogue, with H.E. Amb. Minata Samate Cessouma, Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development and H.E Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director-General of Africa CDC, offering their perspectives on the future of healthcare in Africa.

A significant highlight of the event was the signing ceremony of the Equity Investment Term Sheet agreement with African Finance Corporation (AFC), to facilitate the commitment of up to USD$40 million from AFC towards the development of the AMCE Abuja.

Furthermore, the event saw the MoU signing between Afreximbank and the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to support the development of Nigeria’s healthcare sector under the Presidential Initiative for Unlocking Healthcare Value Chains (PVAC). Through a USD$1 billion Healthcare Value Chain Programme, the partnership will seek to support the establishment of world-class medical and health facilities and increase domestic manufacturing of essential pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, vaccines, biologics and medical consumables. It will also reduce outbound medical tourism by elevating the quality and accessibility of healthcare services within Nigeria, promoting employment, fostering a culture of locally driven research & development, and attracting investments into Nigeria’s healthcare value chain.

Throughout the day, attendees were treated to engaging presentations and discussions on various topics affecting healthcare delivery on the continent, including the vision and mission of AMCE, clinical overviews, strategies to reduce healthcare worker tourism, and the power of collaboration in healthcare.

The forum also featured cultural performances and networking opportunities, fostering a vibrant atmosphere of exchange and collaboration among participants.

Commenting on the success of the Forum: President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, said: “The African Medical Centre of Excellence initiative was born out of the urgent need to address the inadequacies in healthcare facilities, particularly in dealing with non-communicable diseases. With only 48% of Africa’s population having access to essential healthcare services, the situation demanded immediate attention. This Forum is just one of the many initiatives by the Afreximbank Group to emphasise the urgency of the matter.

“The AMCE Abuja will not only serve as a hub for cutting-edge research and clinical services but also as a training ground for future medical professionals across Africa. It will play a pivotal role in tackling the growing burden of non-communicable diseases and reversing the brain drain of qualified medical personnel.

“As we progress towards its completion, we anticipate significant benefits for Africa, including job creation, improved healthcare access, and enhanced intra-regional trade in medical services. With construction well underway and operations set to begin in early 2025, the AMCE Abuja represents a beacon of hope for Africa’s healthcare landscape.

“The AMCE Africa Health Forum provides a platform for stakeholders to strengthen partnerships and collaboration, underscoring the importance of collective action in achieving our shared goal of a healthier Africa.”

Reflecting on the success of the African Health Forum 2024, Brian Deaver, Chief Executive Officer of AMCE Abuja, expressed optimism about the future of healthcare in Africa, stating: “As we conclude the AMCE African Health Forum today, I am deeply encouraged by the collaborative spirit and shared commitment to advancing healthcare excellence across our continent. Our discussions today have underscored the urgent need for collective action to address the pressing challenges posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria and neighbouring regions. The AMCE stands ready to play a pivotal role in this endeavour, leveraging our expertise, resources, and strategic partnerships to implement innovative solutions and improve health outcomes for all. Together, we can forge a path toward a healthier, more prosperous future for Africa and its people.”

Furthermore, the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, outlined the profound impact of the project, emphasising that it will generate approximately 3,000 jobs during both its construction and operational phases. Moreover, it will provide prompt, lifesaving detection and management of serious diseases to over 200,000 patients in Nigeria and an additional 150,000 patients from other African countries within its first five years of operation. Additionally, the project will play a pivotal role in fostering intra-regional trade in medical services and strengthening supply chains in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.

The AMCE Abuja aims to revolutionise healthcare in Africa. Established to address critical gaps, the AMCE Abuja is committed to providing world-class care through innovative research, development, and education. The centre, headquartered in Abuja, will offer comprehensive services in oncology, haematology, cardiovascular care, and general healthcare across the continent, with plans for expansion. The primary goal is to curb medical tourism by offering advanced procedures such as stem cell transplantation and state-of-the-art treatments for various diseases. The construction phase, supported by global partners, precedes a phased rollout over six years, evolving into a 500-bed facility.

By addressing healthcare brain drain and reducing medical tourism, the AMCE Abuja creates employment opportunities across medical and non-medical sectors. Following the groundbreaking ceremony in December 2021 by former President Muhammadu Buhari, the AMCE Abuja is set to commence operations in early 2025. This flagship facility in Abuja is a key part of Afreximbank’s network of healthcare facilities, actively countering brain drain, reducing medical tourism, and fostering employment opportunities. The vision for the AMCE initiative is to shape a healthier and more educated future for Africa.

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