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USAID Nawiri, Safaricom foundation support Covid-19 fight

A total of 58 people out of the 88 who tested positive for coronavirus in Turkana County since the first case was reported on May 23, 2020, have so far recovered.

Speaking during the launch of USAID Nawiri Covid-19 response project in Lodwar on Wednesday, County Executive Committee member for Health Jane Ajele said there are 30 active cases out of the 2,737 samples tested so far.

“The most affected sub counties are Turkana Central Sub County and Turkana West Sub County. There are 150 people in quarantine now, among them 140 in Turkana West and 10 in Turkana central,” Ajele said.

Governor Josphat Nanok said the pandemic is a crisis that his government with the national government is working to ensure it is controlled.

“We are taking measures to contain the pandemic especially in critical areas like the refugee camps. I am glad that the recoveries are about 60 percent but then we need to continue doubling our efforts by making sure that we have put in place other support structures that are required particularly strengthening our health infrastructure but also putting much more food security,” Nanok said.

Earlier, the United States government through USAID Nawiri project and Safaricom foundation announced their support interventions amounting to Sh9 million and Sh1.5 million respectively.

USAID Nawiri through Chief of party Darius Radicliffe announced the financial intervention while Safaricom through head of sales promotion Peter Njihia donated personal protective equipment on behalf of the company.

Radicliffe said the funds would mainly go towards supporting the health system to adapt under the stress of Covid-19 by providing communities with safe, uninterrupted and timely access to essential health and nutrition services in addition to supporting hand hygiene practices through provision of 200 hand washing facilities.

Radicliffe said the child welfare organization Save the Children would be responsible for supporting the health systems while Ctholic relief agency Caritas would spearhead the hand washing campaign.

He said, “the project aims to limit transmission of the virus and support populations to cope with the pandemic as well as to help populations adapt and recover from the pandemic’s effects without threatening nutrition outcomes in the near or long term.”

USAID Nawiri is a five- year project that has the goal of sustainably reducing persistent acute malnutrition through multi sectoral activities.

Through Caritas, the project aims at installing 200 locally produced handwashing facilities in markets, public sanitation facilities, health care facilities and other public places at a cost of Sh2.3 million.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Save the Children aims to train 100 health workers as trainers of trainers to 300 community health volunteers and also train 6,000 family members on child nutrition status screening using mother understanding and Can do it (MUAC) for early detection and treatment during Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

The project also aims at working with the National Drought Management Authority to help traders adapt to market monitoring tools for Covid-19.

On his part, Njihia said the fight against the coronavirus needs collaboration between the public and private sector to be won.

He said the Safaricom foundation has donated the PPEs that include masks, goggles, and overalls, gloves among other assorted materials not only in Turkana County but also in Uasin Gishu, Mombasa, Narok, Meru, Kajiado and Embu.

“Mpesa foundation has also supported other counties of Kwale, Kiambu, Migori, Busia and Nairobi counties with PPEs,” said Njihia.

By Peter Gitonga

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