Coordinate efforts distribute sanitizers to Kenya communities

by Amref Health Africa

Kenya Breweries Limited has partnered with Amref Health Africa and the Kenya Red Cross Society for emergency distribution of 135,000 liters of packed sanitizers to frontline health workers and those at high risk of contracting novel coronavirus that has so far infected 50 Kenyans and killed one.

The initiative follows an appeal by the Kenyan government for individual well-wishers and corporate organizations to play their part in the fight against the disease. Kenya Breweries Limited plans to spend over $476,645 in the program.

Jane Karuku, the managing director at the Kenya Breweries Limited, said the company is fully aware of the evolving coronavirus situation and the potential impact, especially to frontline health workers and vulnerable communities across Kenya.

“We have explored the interventions needed and made the decision to forge ahead with sanitizers, identified by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization as a critical deterrent against the spread of the coronavirus,” she said.

Karuku said while hand-washing has been prescribed as a basic precautionary step against coronavirus spread, millions of people in informal settlements are at heightened risk of contracting the disease due to the lack of proper sanitation and running water.

“We aim to provide the sanitizers free of charge and ensure they get to the most vulnerable members of our communities,” she said.

Amref Health Africa and the Kenya Red Cross Society will be responsible for prompt supervision, monitoring and coordination of the distribution process.

Dr. Githinji Gitahi, the CEO of Amref Health Africa, said adequate response to the pandemic must be made with an approach by the entire society.

“To win the war and flatten the curve, we must observe public health measures as advised, including physical distancing and hand washing with running water and soap. But we are also aware that in some instances, hand-washing with soap and water may not be practically possible and as such, the need for alcohol-based sanitizers, especially in many of our informal settlements, as well as workplaces and public transport,” he said.

Dr. Asha Mohammed, secretary-general of the Kenya Red Cross Society, said the challenges faced by people in informal settlements with regard to access to sanitation facilities are evident, making them highly vulnerable to contract the disease.

Article first published on China Daily.

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