African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced the commencement of its African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) project in Abuja, Nigeria. It will provide world-class care to both low and high-income patient groups across the continent. The Bank recently formalised its long-term collaboration with King’s College Hospital, London (KCH) on the project when it signed an agreement appointing KCH the Clinical Partner of the AMCE.
Construction of the Abuja AMCE is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021 and commissioning is scheduled for the first quarter of 2024. The African Medical Centre of Excellence will be implemented in four phases over a six-year period, starting off with a 170-bed specialist hospital before expanding to a 500-bed facility.
Nigeria was selected in 2017 as the host country for the first AMCE following a competitive bidding process in which Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania also participated. The four countries had previously been identified as prospective host countries by a pre-feasibility study commissioned by Afreximbank and conducted by KCH in 2015.
The AMCE plans to offer a full range of medical services, such as diagnostics, treatment, nuclear medicine, surgery and post-surgical care, along with complimentary specialist services covering oncology, haematological diseases (including sickle cell and blood cancers) and cardiovascular ailments. It will also offer education and clinical research services with a view to building leading talent and becoming a top tier quartenary-level medical facility.
The Abuja AMCE will not only enhance access to healthcare services for 50,000 people every year but also provide 3,000 jobs during its construction and operational phases. Thus, in setting up the AMCE, Afreximbank aims to assist in the provision of quality healthcare, enhanced service offerings, training, expanded employment, conservation of foreign exchange in Africa and promotion of intra-African medical tourism.
“The African Medical Centre of Excellence is a landmark project for Africa. Designed as an initiative under Afreximbank’s 5th Strategic Plan, we are now pleased to be concretising our aspirations. With successful delivery of the Abuja AMCE, the Bank will be well prepared to implement its continent-wide plan of developing a network of AMCEs across Africa and contribute its quota in improving the quality of lives of the African people. The Abuja AMCE will tackle the rising burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, with general care capabilities that will serve the entire West Africa region and beyond. It is a demonstration project that will trigger similar medical centres across the continent” said Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank.
“We are grateful for the significant support from the Government of Nigeria and are pleased to have King’s College Hospital as our partners. We look forward to benefitting from their world-class expertise in medicine, medical, research and training,” added Professor Oramah.
The onboarding of King’s College Hospital is an important milestone. KCH boasts almost two centuries of experience in healthcare service delivery and health systems strengthening. They will support the development of the Abuja AMCE in terms of clinical expertise and protocols, governance and administration support, facility and service set-up as well as recruitment, education and training.
Sir Hugh Taylor, Chair of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “At King’s we have a long history of providing specialist healthcare locally, nationally and internationally. We are proud to be extending our clinical expertise in services, such as haematology and cardiology to benefit the people of Nigeria, and Africa more generally.”
King’s College Hospital has partnered with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, the largest single site cancer centre in Europe, to provide oversight of oncology services at AMCE.
King’s College Hospital joins an already impressive list of Key Project Partners, including Bovell Ross Project Management (Project Management Company), PwC Nigeria (Management Consultant) and Dar Al-Handasah / Perkins+Will consortium (Design Consultant).
The implementation of the project is also supported by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to ensure that the AMCE’s services meet the African Union’s (AU) aspirations for healthcare delivery under its “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want”.