20 high-risk counties get Sh596 million for COVID-19

by Amref Health Africa

The European Union has made a Sh596 million (€5 million) fully financed grant contribution towards Kenya’s response to Covid-19.

The funds will be used to strengthen the health response across Kenya. The projects will be implemented by Amref Health Africa and the Kenya Red Cross Society across 20 counties.

This will strengthen the health response to Covid-19 at the national and county levels in an inclusive and gender responsive way, enhance community engagement for a better management and control of Covid-19, and provide safety nets for the most vulnerable households shielding them from the worst of the pandemic’s impact on the economy.

With Sh298 million (€2.5m) funding, Amref Health Africa will support Nairobi, Nyeri, Kiambu, Laikipia, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Kajiado, Machakos and Kitui counties with the emergency response by strengthening the national and sub-national capacity to detect Covid-19 at source, manage the virus and deliver continuity of essential health services.

Dr Meshack Ndirangu, country director of Amref Health Africa in Kenya, noted that the action will equip county referral hospitals with medical equipment and supplies, strengthen diagnostic capabilities and case management.

“Through enhanced health systems and community engagement, counties will be able to respond better to the Covid-19 pandemic through enhanced screening, diagnosis, contact tracing and case management, while supporting continuity of other essential health services,” he said.

Meanwhile, Red Cross, with Sh298 million (€2.5m) funding, will scale up community health volunteers capacities to improve communities’ adherence to government control measures, scaling up case detection, contact tracing and referrals.

Red Cross will work in Kisumu, Kakamega, Busia, Migori, Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale counties.

These are the high-risk counties identified by the multi-sectoral national Covid-19 task force due to their current infection rates, location on borders and highly mobile populations.

 Red Cross will also contribute to the screening of front-line healthcare providers and the deployment of surge teams.

“This funding will further our auxiliary role of supporting the government’s efforts in stopping the spread of Covid-19, saving lives, and building resilience in the healthcare system and in communities,” Dr Asha Mohammed, the KRCS secretary general, noted.

EU Ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue said, “The European Union stands with Kenya during this challenging period and we recognise the severe impact this crisis is having on people’s lives. Today, through these support programmes to the health system, we are making a real difference to local communities across the country, strengthening our partnership with Kenya.”

Article first published on The Star, Kenya.

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