IFC, KARL STORZ partner to improve African healthcare services

KARL STORZ, manufacturer of endoscope today joins International Finance Corporation’s (IFC’s) Africa Medical Equipment Facility to help Africa’s healthcare providers to further strengthen their services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

KARL STORZ’s participation in the Africa Medical Equipment Facility (AMEF) will support smaller healthcare businesses in East and West Africa to purchase or lease medical equipment, including endoscopic equipment, in local currency. Endoscopy is a minimally invasive medical procedure that uses a long, thin, tube with a light and camera at one end to conduct diagnosis or specialized surgical procedures.

Africa’s smaller healthcare operators often struggle to secure bank loans to purchase equipment, due to their business’ perceived high investment risk. This limits their ability to buy or lease medical equipment and other vital health services to serve patients across income levels.

“Through its innovative endoscopy solutions, KARL STORZ aims to support better patient care and safety. By working with IFC’s AMEF program, an increased number of hospitals will have access to state-of-art equipment and, therefore, a greater number of patients will benefit from advanced surgical techniques that support improved outcomes and faster healing,” said Ara Sarkissian, Vice President of Commercial Operations in the Middle East & Africa at KARL STORZ.

“IFC is supporting small, private health operators in Africa because they have a vital and growing role to play delivering affordable, high-quality care to patients. The Africa Medical Equipment Facility welcomes the participation of KARL STORZ, which will contribute to making specialized equipment more accessible in Africa,” said Samuel Dzotefe, acting Regional Industry Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services in Africa at IFC.

Launched in April 2021, AMEF partners with financial institutions and medical equipment manufacturers to improve private sector healthcare delivery by enabling hospitals, clinics, labs, and others to acquire advanced medical equipment.

Supported by the International Development Association Private Sector Window (IDA-PSW) Blended Finance Facility and the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), the facility falls under IFC’s Global Health Platform, which was launched to help developing countries fight the coronavirus pandemic and increase their healthcare systems’ resilience.

The facility includes an advisory services program to help small healthcare businesses strengthen their medical equipment procurement processes, financial management competencies, and business planning. The advisory program, active in both Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya, will also help participating financial institutions strengthen their credit underwriting skills for the healthcare sector.

KARL STORZ, which becomes the third medical manufacturer to join AMEF, produces and distributes high-quality endoscopes, medical instruments, and other devices. The company’s range of endoscopic instruments for human and veterinary medicine now includes more than 15,000 products.

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. IFC works in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries.

In fiscal year 2020, IFC 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.