IFC Helps Low-Income Nigerians Get Affordable Health Care

Lagos, Nigeria, November 19, 2008 -- More low-income Nigerian families can afford good medical care, thanks to a new IFC program that partners with health care provider Hygeia Nigeria Limited, an IFC portfolio company.

This project offers subsidized insurance to the over 22,000 employees and their families of a Lagos-based IT company, Computer and Allied Products Association, and includes screening and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.

The program seeks to enhance IFC’s development impact in IDA countries beyond what is possible with traditional IFC instruments alone.

Partially funded by IFC’s $6.02 million grant financing, the initiative fosters innovation by expanding the role of private firms in delivering basic services through public-private partnerships.

Services will be offered by a provider network managed by Hygeia Nigeria. In the first year, insurance premiums will be $57 per person with a user contribution of only $10.

Currently, only 1 million people in Nigeria—less than 1 percent of the population—are covered by health insurance. Although the National Health Insurance Scheme, introduced in 2004, is intended to cover all Nigerians, many people may not benefit for another decade or longer.

“By contracting with the private sector to deliver essential public services, the project will demonstrate how public health institutions can effectively integrate public and private health care provision,” said Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education.

IFC’s grant financing under its Performance-Based Grants Initiative is organized through the World Bank-administered Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) which will work with the Netherlands-based Health Insurance Fund. It will pay subsidies after independently verifying that services have been delivered.

GPOBA, a multi-donor agency, develops output-based aid approaches for infrastructure, health, and education projects.


Ludi Joseph
Communications Officer

Health and Education Department, IFC
Phone: 202-473-7700
Website: www.ifc.org/che