By SOFIA ALI
• Public hospitals have received a first consignment of PPEs valued at Ksh 260Million
• The PPEs include disposable gowns, surgical masks, respirator masks, coveralls, nitrile gloves, head/hair covers, shoe covers, and gumboots.
• Hospitals will reorder PPEs according to usage in their respective hospitals
As Kenya registers more than twenty five thousand covid patients, The Kenya Covid-19 Fund Board, in partnership with Equity Group Foundation (EGF) have completed the delivery of the first consignment of locally manufactured PPEs valued at Ksh 260Million to public hospitals for use by healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19 patients.
Speaking during the handover of the PPEs at the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, Dr James Mwangi, the Chair of the Health Committee of the Kenya COVID-19 Board expressed gratitude to the various hospital liaison committees who have coordinated the receipt of the PPEs in their respective hospitals. He commended their commitment to ensure the prudent use of the PPEs by Health care workers dealing with COVID-19 Fund patients.
Dr Mwangi added “We have witnessed the seamless delivery of PPEs around the country, using independent services of Fargo Courier. The distribution system is fully digitized from their central warehouse and has a sophisticated tracking system that ensures last mile receipt by the respective hospital liaison committee in each benefiting hospital. The liaison committees verify the consignment, receive and take responsibility for the proper usage by the health care workers.” He said that the visits by the COVID-19 Fund Board to the various hospitals in the last month had given them confidence that the local medical supplies value chain was starting to take shape. “From local manufacturing of PPEs that have met national and international standards, to efficient delivery, we believe that the system gives the COVID-19 Board a transparent mechanism of ensuring proper end to end management of PPE provisions to our healthcare workers,” He said.
Dr Mwangi also said that the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board through the Health Committee had embarked on the process of procuring the second batch of PPEs worth Ksh 440Million in order to build a reservoir to sustainably equip frontline medical workers.
Professor Isaac Macharia, the technical lead on the Health Committee of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board and a renowned ENT specialist said, “The delivery of the first consignment of PPEs has contributed to enhancing the confidence of health care workers to serve in the frontline.” He appreciated the healthcare workers for their dedication to serve in the frontlines of the pandemic. “From serving in the hospital liaison committees to working with the manufacturers to co-create PPEs that meet quality national and international standards, we believe that our national capacity to manufacture PPEs will continue to be enhanced to meet national needs and export.” Said Prof Macharia.
While receiving the consignment, Medical Superintendent at Mama Lucy Kibaki hospital, Dr. Musa Mohammed noted that the PPEs will go a long way in protecting frontline workers that are providing medical support to COVID-19 patients at the hospitals.
Major General Mohamed Badi, Director General of Nairobi Metropolitan Service was the chief guest at the PPEs handover ceremony event and said, “We are indeed grateful to Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board and EGF who have partnered on this patriotic duty to safeguard our healthcare workers so that they can in turn protect all of us. I thank His Excellency the President for putting together industry captains to manage the COVID-19 response initiative in our country. They have deployed their experience in running the most successful corporations in our country to put mechanisms in place, within a very short time to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.” Major General Badi urged the hospital liaison committee to oversee the efficient usage of the PPEs.
At the same time, frontline healthcare staff dealing with COVID-19 patients are receiving case management training and psychosocial support to help them cope with the daily challenges occasioned by their service in the fight against COVID-19 in the country. The intervention will ensure that healthcare workers across the country are well equipped to serve in the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative has been financed by The Kenya COVID- 19 Emergency Response Fund and Equity Group Foundation at a cost of Kshs 85Million. Kenya Medical Association (KMA) is leading the implementation of the program together with the National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK), Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU), Kenya Psychiatric Association & Clinical Psychologists’ Association of Kenya. Other Associations that are part of this initiative include the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Kenya Clinical Officers’ Association (KCOA), Kenya Pharmaceutical Association and other healthcare professional associations.
The COVID-19 Fund Hospital Liaison Committees were established to support the management of PPEs in each participating hospital. They are mandated to receive, distribute, oversee proper usage, and re-order to ensure consistent supply of the PPEs to the health care workers. The Liaison committees for each hospital comprises of nominated representatives from Equity; and Healthcare worker representatives, a medical doctor, a clinical officer and a nurse who are members of their professional associations, together with the hospital’s stores in-charge.
The distribution of locally produced PPEs is an initiative of the Kenya Covid-19 Board with financial support from Equity Group Foundation (EGF) which announced in May a Kshs 1.1 Billion (USD 11 Million) investment partnership with Mastercard Foundation ( Ksh 500M), Equity Bank (Ksh 300M), and the family of Dr. James Mwangi (Ksh300M) which was committed towards the provision of PPEs for frontline healthcare workers. The collaboration between the Ministry of Health, the Kenya COVID-19 Fund, and Equity Group Foundation ensure a coordinated effort on the national priorities of combatting the pandemic while reaping the benefits of economies of scale to maximize resource allocation and avoid duplication of efforts in the provision of PPEs.