The European Union and the Kenya Red Cross Society(KRCS) have handed over personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s), pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical supplies worth Sh7.7M to bolster the healthcare system in Kisumu.
The equipment will be distributed across healthcare facilities in the lakeside city in what Prof Peter Anyang’g Nyong’o says is a major boost to the counties’ health response interventions.
The donation is part of the 636 million grant under the EU Emergency Response Project launched in June 2020 to support the covid-19 pandemic response activities in 20 counties.
The project is being implemented in 11 counties where Kenya Red Cross Society has intensified community sensitisation and control including Kisumu, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Mombasa, Kwale, Lamu, Kilifi, Migori, Busia and Kakamega.
The European Union ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue at the handover ceremony reaffirmed the EUs commitment to Kenya during this pandemic.
“We commend the Government of Kenya for the efforts and measures it has put in place during this Covid-19 period. The robust response has saved lives that could have been potentially lost to the virus. As long as the virus continues to pose a threat anywhere in the world any humankind remains at risk,” Ambassador Mordue said.
Mordue lauded the Red Cross for standing by the vulnerable at a “time of need” including training nearly 45,000 health workers and 165 county rapid response members.
This is in addition to the society’s social safety net programme where 20,000 vulnerable households received cash transfers as a compliment to the ministry of Labour’s Inua Jamii programme.
Further testimony to this commitment are the 11,250 households that received Sh 5,668 per month and 8,750 households identified through the Nyumba Kumi system and independently verified by the Kenya Red Cross Society and received Sh7,668 per month.
The Kenya Red Cross Society has at the same time been on the frontline in Covid-19 preparedness and response activities, key among them the training of healthcare workers and volunteers, distribution of handwashing machines, government community screening and contact tracing among others.
But most notably. Dr. Asha Mohammed cautioned Kenyans against complacency in the fight to stop the pandemic noting this would negate the gains realized over the six months.
“While we fully support the President’s move to relax some of the restrictions that have been in place over the last six months so that people can rebuild their lives that have been affected by the pandemic, we urge personal responsibility to ensure that we do not see another spike in infections that may force us to reintroduce restrictions,” said Dr. Mohammed.
The County support programme is being implemented by the KRCS and Amref Health Africa in 20 counties across the 11 counties KRCS has distributed PPEs worth Ksh.85, 121,350.
Under the project, the Kenya Red Cross Society has screened 399,616 people, scaled up Sexual Geneder Based Violence (SGBV) campaigns reaching 1,677 frontline healthcare workers on maternal Infant and young child Nutrition, infection Prevention and control and home based care in the 11 countiess.
“We are extremely grateful for the support the EU and KRCS has accorded to Kisumu County. These collaborative partnerships will help boost counties across different sectors and ensure stability and seamless operations which leads to quality service delivery to Kenyans,” said Kisumu governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.
By Milton Onyango