Nine counties to benefit from Sh300m EU grant in virus war

by Noah Wekesa

Nine counties will benefit from a Sh302.5 million grant from the European Union to boost their Covid-19 response capacities.

The programme, to be managed by Amref Health Africa, will be implemented over the next seven months and is geared towards increasing testing, enhancing home-based care and supporting local innovations such as no-touch hand-washing stations.

Speaking in Nanyuki on Thursday after a meeting with the county Covid-19 emergency response task force, Amref Health Africa Country Director Meshack Ndirangu said the money will complement counties’ investments in the fight against the virus.

“Our aim is to flatten the curve and slow down infections in the country. We need to prevent an upsurge in cases that may overwhelm our health system,” Dr Ndirangu said.

BOOST FOUNDATIONS

“This support is meant to boost foundations and investments that have been established by counties,” he added.

The counties on the list of beneficiaries are Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Uasin Gishu, Machakos, Kitui, Kajiado and Laikipia.

“We need to come together to fight this pandemic by strictly adhering to the regulations stipulated by the Ministry of Health. Let us shield the vulnerable members of our society from the pandemic,” Dr Ndirangu said.

Governor Ndiritu Muriithi said the country is constrained in terms of its testing capacity, adding that investments to improve on this should be entrenched at the grassroots.

BOOST TESTING

“We want to boost testing because the national testing capacity remains constrained. For instance, it is taking us many hours to get results,” Mr Muriithi said.

He lauded the initiative, saying it would help curb the spread of the pandemic.

 “We need to explore other avenues so as to be able to ramp up our testing capacity. After reopening the economy, cases are expected to spike as advised by experts, but our current capacity to test at the county level is quite limited and constrained,” the governor said.

“We need to remain vigilant. We are looking forward to increased production of personal protective equipment for the management of Covid-19,” he added. 

By JAMES MURIMI

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Article first published on: Daily Nation

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