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Health

Gertrudes Hospital borrows Sh200m from StanChart for Covid war

Gertrudes children hospital in Donholm
Gertrude's children hospital in Muthaiga, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Gertrudes Hospital has borrowed Sh200 million from Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya #ticker:SCBK to fund its operations in the wake of the disruptive Covid-19 pandemic.

The hospital’s chief executive Robert Nyarango said the pandemic has put much pressure on hospitals and the loan will provide cash flow to meet needs such as protective equipment for doctors and also pay additional staff.

“We have had to increase our staffing to ensure that there is an adequate pre-screening process for patient safety and to identify potential Covid-19 cases prior to entrance to the facility,” said Dr Nyarango.

“This means additional investments in the necessary equipment and we are grateful to StanChart for extending the credit facility at a competitive rate.”

The loan attracts a one-off interest of nine percent as opposed to the traditional loans which accumulate interest per month.

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Currently, the average price of loans in the banking sector is about 12 percent.

“This has been of great benefit to us considering the cash outlays required at this time of Covid-19 with a plunge in business and capital required to meet Ministry of Health guidelines for patient safety,” said Dr Nyarango.

The loan is part of the global Standard Chartered’s Sh107 billion ($1 billion) kitty that targets companies that provide goods and services for fighting Covid-19.

StanChart Kenya says it has also given Sh450 million commitments to other firms but the amount is yet to be drawn.

Operations such as hospitals have had to make additional investments in equipment and consumables such as masks and gloves to reduce risk of infections in their facilities.

The number of patients visiting hospitals has also dropped due to financial difficulties and the fear of contracting the virus, leading to reduced revenue in some facilities.

StanChart head of global banking in Kenya and East Africa, Birju Sanghrajka, said the bank stands to help hospitals and other businesses deal with financial strains that set in after Covid-19 disruptions.

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