Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board Wednesday donated medical grade PPEs to 25 mission hospitals affiliated to the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK), as part of its phase one distribution to mission hospitals across Kenya.
The PPEs are valued at Ksh 33 million and include 750 protective goggles, 25,000 disposable gowns, 500,000 nitrile gloves, 500,000 surgical masks, 750 face shields, 12,500 disposable scrubs, 25,000 head covers, 5,000 coveralls and 50,000 KN95 respirator masks.
During this COVID-19 period, Faith Based hospitals have proven to be an integral part of the National and County COVID-19 pandemic emergency infrastructure, as they have set aside isolation wards, ICU beds, oxygen treatment support facilities, trained staff and have established protocols for COVID-19 screening, treatment, infection prevention and control.
The Faith Based hospitals continue to complement government response to COVID-19 and have been receiving and managing COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe illness. This has resulted in the dire need of PPEs for the protection of frontline staff.
Speaking at the PPE handover ceremonies, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO, Dr. James Mwangi said, “Through KCCB and CHAK, we received a request to support 60 mission hospitals across Kenya. As EGF and the COVID-19 Fund Board, we have saw it prudent to make an initial donation to those mission facilities with active COVID-19 isolation units that are currently managing the care of admitted patients. We recognize the role played by mission hospitals in the fight against COVID-19 and in contributing to the access of affordable healthcare services in the country and are glad to offer a second layer of protection for our frontline healthcare workers.”
The second phase distribution will focus on the remaining 35 mission health facilities, which will benefit from an additional consignment of PPEs when their COVID-19 inpatient isolation and management units are actively in us.
Dr. Mwangi further noted that there have been reports of various COVID-19 virus mutations resulting in several variants.
He urged Kenyans to stay vigilant and to adhere to the set Ministry of Health guidelines and protocols. “It is clear that COVID-19 is mutating and now has multiple variants with severe effects. As a country, we are still recording very high COVID-19 numbers, an indication that our battle with the virus is still on. Today’s donation will help a large population of Kenyans who rely on mission hospitals for healthcare services as well as protect our frontline heroes who continue to serve Kenyans selflessly.”
“We make a public call to all Kenyans and ask them to support our local medics by doing their best to reduce exposure to COVID-19 by avoiding crowded places, keeping a safe social distance of at least 1.5 metres and wearing a mask properly when interacting with others.” Added Dr. Mwangi.
KCCB oversees within their jurisdiction Catholic Mission hospitals from Level 6 to community level facilities while CHAK is a National Faith Based Organization of the Protestant Churches and their health facilities in Kenya committed to promoting universal access to quality health care.
Speaking during the event, Chairman of KCCB – Catholic Health Commission of Kenya, Rt. Rev. Joseph Mbatia said “One key mandate of the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya is to facilitate the national coordination and management of Catholic health facilities across Kenya. We are humbled that Equity Group Foundation and Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board have put consideration into supporting our health facilities with PPEs.”
Adding that: “The Catholic Church runs close to 30% of all healthcare facilities in Kenya and this boost will go a long way in protecting our frontline healthcare workers which will trickle down to benefit communities at the grassroot level.”
Also commenting on the same, Rev Dr. Robert Langat, Chairman CHAK said, “As CHAK, we are privileged to have a presence through our member mission hospitals in 45 out of the 47 counties. The provision of PPEs by Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board will play a huge role in safeguarding the lives of our frontline healthcare workers. Faith based mission hospitals have proven to be critical in the country’s COVID-19 response and the PPEs issued today will help us leverage on the unique strengths of the faith community to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.”
The health facilities have established Hospital Liaison Committees to support with the management of PPEs in each participating hospital. They are mandated to receive, distribute, oversee proper usage, and re-order to ensure consistent supply of the PPEs to the health care workers.
The Liaison committees for each hospital comprises of nominated representatives from Equity; and Healthcare worker representatives, a medical doctor, a clinical officer and a nurse who are members of their professional associations, together with the hospital’s stores in-charge.
The distribution of locally manufactured PPEs is an initiative of Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board as part of a coordinated effort to support frontline healthcare workers through the provision of PPEs.