British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott has handed over essential forensic medical equipment to boost Kenya in fighting terrorism and supporting forensic investigation in solving crimes.
The equipment includes one portable mortuary fridge, 24 slats for mortuary tables, six mortuary tables, six aluminum step ladders, 15 collapsible tables, 20 folding chairs and 300 body bags.
The British High Commissioner who was speaking during the handover ceremony at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi said that the equipment will be used in cases of disastrous events, when assisting victims of Gender Based Violence and supporting vital forensic investigations.
“The scourge of terrorism is a challenge we face in both our countries. We remember the victims of these attacks from Westgate, Riverside and Garissa. I am pleased to provide this support to Kenya to help boost our joint fight against terrorism,” said Marriott.
The High Commissioner said the equipment will also help preserve crucial evidence required to identify and convict offenders as well as identifying disaster victims and preserving their dignity to prevent further suffering to grieving families.
She announced that the United Kingdom invests Sh1.1 billion (€7million) annually to counter terrorism efforts in Kenya.
“This ranges from building the capacity of criminal justice institutions through training and mentoring to security installation investments like the Kahawa Law Court which is Kenya’s first court dedicated to addressing terrorism offences,” said the High Commissioner.
She also recognised the health partnership with the Ministry of Health in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and assured the Government of Kenya that UK will continue supporting such programs to ensure the quality of health services in Kenya.
Ministry of Health Chief Administration Secretary Dr Rashid Aman noted that cases of health and acquisition of evidence are all science based and as such, the donation of forensic equipment by the United Kingdom will support the government through various departments of law enforcement in administering justice.
Echoing the words of the British High Commissioner, Aman said that the equipment will provide facts to victims of mass casualties as well as acquiring forensic evidence of foul play.
He said the UK has supported County Action Plans and County Engagement forums to prevent violent extremism actions at the county level.
“Preventing and countering violent extremism requires not only a strong security response but also a holistic effort that incorporates political, diplomatic and development approaches,” said Aman.
Ministry of Health representative Dr Julius Ogato said that the equipment will assist in the management of death from terrorist attacks and noted that quality assurance is a key element to preserving forensic evidence.
By Manu Mumba and Fardosa Bonaya