Public Hospitals start receiving PPEs from Kenya COVID-19 Emergency Fund
By Daisy Okanga | Public hospitals in the country have started to receive locally manufactured Personal Protective Equipment (PPES) for use by healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19 patients.
So far, 68 public hospitals have been identified by the Ministry of Health that will receive PPEs for up to 18 months.
Kenyatta National Hospital and Mbagathi Hospital Infectious Diseases Unit received locally manufactured PPEs valued at Kshs.3,191,370. In the consignment were disposable gowns, surgical masks, N95 respirator masks, nitrile gloves, head/hair covers, shoe covers, and gumboots.
Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital had earlier received their first consignment of PPEs valued at KShs 3,822,080. The distribution and last mile delivery are being handled by Fargo Courier, an independent logistics service provider selected on the basis of their infrastructure and their robust and automated logistics capability, to deliver the PPEs across the country.
Speaking during the handover of the PPEs, Chairperson of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board Mrs. Jane Karuku, gave an assurance that the funds received at the Board were being well utilized through a governance structure that includes independent auditors.
She expressed confidence in the board members skills, expertise and commitment to ensure that the mandate of the Board is well executed with transparency and efficiency. She thanked the various Board committee chairpersons who are doing commendable work.
Dr. James Mwangi, who Chairs the Health Committee of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board was confident that medical supplies value chain was taking shape.
“We are very delighted to witness the last-mile delivery of the PPEs to the public hospitals for use by our health care workers. We can now say with fulfilment that the medical supplies value chain is taking shape. In just a few months, we have seen local manufacturers rise up to produce PPEs, many of them for the first time. They have quickly adapted their capabilities through capacity building and strong commitment.” Said Dr Mwangi.
About six manufacturers have already attained national and international quality standards for the medical grade PPEs proving that local solutions exist even for global problems, said Dr Mwangi adding that “as a nation, we have what it takes to fight this pandemic. It is important to build a reservoir of PPEs to sustainably equip our frontline medical workers.”
Professor Isaac Macharia, the technical lead on the Health Committee of the COVID-19 Fund Board, and a renowned ENT specialist said the initiative gave the manufacturing sector an opportunity to improve on the locally manufactured PPEs.
This initiative has given the medical fraternity, through the Health committee of the COVID-19 Fund Board the opportunity to work closely with the local manufacturers in improving the quality of the PPEs.”
“This is the first time that we are having the opportunity to co-create medical equipment to ensure quality standards. We believe that this collaboration will play an important role in the development of a health supplies ecosystem in Kenya that meets national and international quality standards. This initiative will also help to support the realization of a robust manufacturing sector which is part of the President’s big four agenda.”
Prof Macharia commended the various medical professional associations who have teamed up to facilitate psychosocial and case management training for over 50,000 health care workers dealing with COVID-19 with financial support of KShs 85 million from COVID-19 Fund Board and Equity Group.