The National Covid-19 Fund Board in partnership with the Equity Group Foundation has distributed locally manufactured personal protective equipment (PPE) to Isiolo health workers who are dealing with coronavirus patients.
The consignment of disposable gowns, surgical and respirator masks, among others, is part of the Sh237 million donations to 68 public hospitals across the country.
The equipment is intended to ensure that the frontline workers are not infected with the disease in the line of duty.
Over 400 health workers in various hospitals across the country had been infected with the disease as at July 14, 2020 with 60 per cent of the infections being work-related.
18 MONTHS PROVISIONS
The 68 hospitals that have been identified by the Ministry of Health will receive the provisions for up to 18 months according to Equity Bank's Chief Commercial Officer Polycarp Igathe.
Speaking while handing over the equipment to the Isiolo health team at Isiolo Referral Hospital, Mr Igathe reiterated the bank's commitment to ensuring that health workers have enough PPE supplies. He added that the bank will be mobilising more partners towards the Covid-19 fight.
"We recognise the role of the health workers, who risk their lives for the sake of others, and their safety is paramount especially now that our country [is battling] the deadly disease," said Mr Igathe.
The provisions, he said, will help the frontline workers discharge their roles better and more effectively.
SECOND BATCH OF PPE
He announced that the process of procuring the second batch of the PPE worth Sh400 million that will build a stock to sustainably equip the health workers is underway.
The Equity Group Foundation will, in total, distribute PPE worth Sh1.1 billion from contributions by the bank's Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi's family (Sh300 million), the Equity Bank (Sh300 million) and Sh500 million from the Mastercard Foundation.
Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti said his administration has intensified efforts to prevent transmission of the disease by continued mandatory screening of visitors from counties with alarming Covid-19 cases.
"There is need for all of us to join forces in containing the disease. We are, as a county, well prepared to handle the disease and have put in place necessary measures to prevent further transmissions," said County Secretary Ahmed Galgalo who represented Governor Kuti.
Isiolo Health Chief Officer Ibrahim Alio appealed to the Covid-19 Fund and the Equity Group Foundation to assist the county in setting up infrastructure for the realisation of the 150-bed capacity isolation centre at the hospital.
"We have already been served with a notice to relocate the isolation centre at the KMTC Isiolo campus due to the colleges reopening guidelines and would appreciate if we are assisted in setting up the necessary structures," said Mr Alio.
Mr Igathe said buying the locally made PPE was in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four agenda of building local manufacturing capacity.
This is aimed at creating strong manufacturing capacity and guaranteeing a steady supply of the protective gear while also supporting the national economy.
He appealed to Kenyans to take personal responsibility as "the government cannot protect us 100 per cent".
"We all must strictly observe the health protocols and join hands in defeating the disease," he noted.