Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board flagged off the first consignment of locally manufactured PPEs to public hospitals in Kenya over the weekend.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Equity Group Foundation (EGF). The Board through its Health and Procurement Committees is coordinating the sourcing, quality assurance and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for frontline health care workers at designated COVID-19 management hospitals
Mrs. Jane Karuku, the Chairperson of the COVID-19 Fund Board said that the board in collaboration with KAM and EGF had identified an opportunity for local manufacturers to create a regional logistics supply chain for PPEs which could serve Kenya and its neighbors with a consistent supply of high quality medical products. “With the global supply chain at risk due to the crisis, there is impetus to leverage and develop local manufacturing capacity for PPE production by considering all aspects of the supply chains, in order to meet both immediate needs of the crisis, as well as long-term demand in the foreseeable future,” she stated.
Speaking during the flag-off ceremony Dr, Mwangi, who Chairs the Health Committee of the COVID-19 Fund Board said, “Today we witness the benefit of working together in synergy to protect our health care workers. By coming together to provide PPEs this initiative has allowed for economies of scale, proper identification of the national priorities for PPEs and guarantees efficient and effective coordination while eliminating duplication of efforts in the provision of PPEs for public health care workers in the country.”
The first consignment valued at Kshs. 237, 218,300 includes 100,250 disposable gowns, 550,000 surgical masks, 54,000 N95 respirator masks, 5,400 protective goggles, 1,000,000 nitrile gloves, 5,400 face shields, 54,000 head/hair covers, 45,000 disposable medical scrubs, 45,000 shoe covers, and 1000 gumboots.
The Health Committee has created facility-based liaison committees in each of the 68 (number of participating facilities increased in the latest list from MoH participating public hospitals across all counties to coordinate the receipt of and ensure the rational use of PPEs as guided by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health protocols, and reporting back on a regular basis to the Health Technical Working Group. The facility-based committees are comprised of seven persons: a medical doctor who is a member of the Kenya Medical Association (KMA) and/or Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), the Kenya Clinical Officers’ Association (KCOA), National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK), Hospitals Stores-in-Charge, Hospital Administrations Representatives, Equity Group Foundation Representative. At least one of these members will be a youth and gender balance observed.
To guarantee timely and secure delivery of the PPEs across the country, the committee has partnered with Fargo Courier, an independent logistics service provider, to provide a consolidated logistics solution with end-to-end visibility, from the receipt of PPEs in warehouses to the execution of last mile delivery to the hospitals, thus ensuring effective controls and complete transparency.
Mrs. Karuku reiterated the need for all Kenyans to remember that they are the first line of defense in the fight against COVID-19. She noted that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), health care workers are the second line of defense. The most effective measures of combating transmission remain the observance of physical distance, frequent personal and environmental hygiene practices, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth as well as practicing good respiratory hygiene such as wearing a mask and coughing or sneezing into bent elbow. In a health facility where workers are attending to patients, WHO adds that use of PPEs are only one of the measures for infection prevention and control. As such, the prudent management of PPE use is warranted alongside other administrative controls and processes within the health facility.
The distribution of locally produced PPEs comes four weeks after EGF announced a Ksh 1.1 Billion (USD $11 Million) investment in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, Equity Bank and the family of Dr. James Mwangi towards the provision of PPEs. The investment was committed to the the Kenya COVID-19 Fund creating an effective and efficient collaboration between the Ministry of Health, The Kenya COVID-19 Fund and Equity Group Foundation for execution.