By Sofia Ali

The European Union (EU) has made a €5 million fully financed grants contribution towards Kenya’s Response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be used to strengthen the health response across Kenya. The projects will be implemented by AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation-Kenya) and Kenya Red Cross Society across 20 counties.

Speaking during the launch of the EU Covid 19 response project in Nairobi

 Chairman council of governors H.E. Wycliffe Oparanya said that the county hospital lucked medical equipment needed to fight Covid 19 pandemic. “We will be having a meeting on Friday to review which county needs help. Most counties needs ICU beds in preparation of Covid 19 cases”. Said Oparanya.

European Union Ambassador to Kenya H.E Simon Mordue said The project will strengthen the health response to COVID-19 at the national and county levels in an inclusive and gender responsive way, enhance community engagement for a better management and control of COVID-19, and provide safety nets for the most vulnerable households shielding them from the worst of the pandemic’s impact on the economy. “We are targeting eighty thousand people from the informal settlements.” Said Amb. Mordue

EU Ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue also noted, “The European Union stands with Kenya during this challenging period and we recognize the severe impact this crisis is having on people’s lives. Today, through these support programs to the health system, we are making a real difference to local communities across the country, strengthening our partnership with Kenya.”

 The project is expected to be executed by Red Cross and  AMREF,  the €2.5M funding, AMREF will support Nairobi, Nyeri, Kiambu, Laikipia, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Kajiado, Machakos and Kitui counties with the emergency response to COVID-19, by strengthening the national and sub-national capacity to detect COVID-19 at source, manage the virus and deliver continuity of essential health services.

AMREF chief programs officer Mette Kjaer Kinoti cited major problem that they are facing is teenage pregnancy due to poor family planning and  fear of corona virus

Meanwhile, the Kenya Red Cross Society, with €2.5M funding, will scale up community health volunteers capacities to improve communities’ adherence to government control measures, scaling up case detection, contact tracing and referrals in Kisumu, Kakamega, Busia, Migori, Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale counties. These are the high-risk counties identified by the multi-sectoral national COVID-19 task force due to their current infection rates, location on borders and highly mobile populations. The Red Cross Society will also contribute to the screening of front line health care providers and the deployment of surge teams. “This funding will further our auxiliary role of supporting the government’s efforts in stopping the spread of COVID-19, saving lives, and building resilience in the health care system and in communities’’ noted Dr. Asha Mohammed,  KRCS Secretary General.

The European Union and its Member States are providing a broad package of health and social support measures for the most vulnerable Kenyans in informal settlements and across the country, through a mix of emergency response and longer term support. This includes the provision of COVID-19 related health services, support for access to universal health coverage, and cash transfers to selected households.    

The EU itself is contributing Ksh 35 billion to Kenya’s response to COVID-19 whilst EU Member States have already provided more than Ksh 3.3 billion (EUR 30 million) – that figure continues to increase. This collective support by Team Europe is a statement of Europe’s friendship and partnership with Kenya in these difficult global times.

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