Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Prof. Isaac Macharia, Chairman Equity Group, Dr. James Mwangi, CEO Equity Group &
Chair of Kenya Covid-19  Fund Board Health Committee, Prof. Kiama Gitahi, Vice-Chancellor,
UoN and Mr. Kennedy Kihara, Principal Administrative Secretary (OOP) and Secretary Kenya
Covid-19 Fund Board. With them are two students adorned in PPE gear.

Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board have commenced the distribution of the second consignment of locally manufactured personal protective equipment (PPE) to public hospitals across all 47 counties in Kenya including all final year medical and dental students from 11 universities with medical and dental schools, as part of its sustained efforts to protect medics from the COVID-19 virus.

The University of Nairobi received its consignment on November 10, 2020.

While receiving the PPEs, University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama said, “We are extremely humbled that the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board and Equity Group Foundation thought about our medical students and saw it fit to equip them with protective gear. As it is now, we need all hands on deck to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and our students are an important resource who are complementing the service of their senior colleagues in practice. This pandemic continues to affect all Kenyans irrespective of their background and we welcome other corporates to join in this worthy cause.”

The consignment which includes 266,000 respirator masks, 2.7 million 3-ply surgical masks, 50,000 reinforced disposable gowns, 2 million pairs of nitrile gloves, 60,000 pairs of medical scrubs, 50,000 coveralls with shoe covers, 300,000 head covers, 55,000 face shields, 34,000 pairs of goggles and 200,000 disposable aprons which will be  distributed to public hospitals is valued at Ksh 125M and the consignment designated for final year medical and dental students is valued at Kshs 10M, bringing the total value of the consignment to Ksh 135M.

A total of 11 universities whose final year students were recalled to complete their studies, include - University of Nairobi, Moi University, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, Maseno University, Masinde Muliro University, Egerton University, Kenya Methodist University, Mount Kenya University and Uzima University will benefit from the PPEs. They will be issued to the final year medical and dental students based on their needs.

Commenting on the exercise, Dr James Mwangi Equity Group Managing Director and CEO, who is also the Chair of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board Health Committee noted that both Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board remain committed to fulfilling their promise of supporting the medical fraternity serving in public hospitals with PPEs to safeguard health workers serving on the frontline in mitigating the COVID- 19 pandemic.

“As Equity Group Foundation , we saw the need to support and reinforce the efforts by the Ministry of Health and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board in strengthening the health response through protecting our heroes who are at the forefront of serving Kenyans. We chose to also include medical and dental final year students who are eager to complete their training and be posted across the country to serve as interns where they are needed.  The PPEs donated today will protect them and will also allow them to continue with their duties without worrying about their safety as they complete their noble duties.” added Dr. Mwangi.

University of Nairobi, Medical Students Association Chair Amir Mumin, lauded the efforts of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board and Equity Group Foundation noting, “The year has been tough, we had to close school indefinitely and when we resumed learning, we were still at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the growing demand for PPEs due to the high positivity rate, the costs of PPEs have continued to escalate and as students this became a challenge for us.  We sincerely appreciate the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board, Equity Group Foundation and the administration of the University of Nairobi for thinking about us and prioritizing our safety. We commit to perform our duties with zeal and to using what we have been given efficiently.”

Similar to the establishment of the Hospital Liaison Committees, the medical student associations in the various universities have come together to establish working committees led by students who are part of the Equity Leaders Program. The working committees will serve the primary purpose of managing and tracking the use of the PPEs as well as share feedback on the quality of the PPEs. They will also identify the various needs that they may require support to ensure that they remain safe while serving Kenyans.

Speaking on behalf of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board Chair, Principal Administrative Secretary Office of the President and Secretary of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board, Kennedy Kihara said, “As a Fund, we have been tasked with the noble mandate to fundraise and effectively employ the funds that Kenyans are giving us towards cushioning citizens and the country from the adverse effects of COVID-19. We are delighted to partner with Equity in the health response and in boosting the confidence of our healthcare workers by availing PPEs in a timely manner. We urge all the beneficiaries of these PPEs to make effective use of them and to be good stewards of the resources allocated to them.”

The Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board and Equity Group Foundation has for the past six months embarked on an initiative to support frontline health workers in public hospitals with PPEs as well as establishing a vibrant psychosocial support and mental wellness program, and has now commenced the second phase of the PPE distribution amidst a recently escalating case load of infections across the country.