Amref Health Africa Partners with Mastercard Foundation to help Flatten the COVID-19 Curve in Kenya

by Amref Health Africa

Nairobi, Tuesday 11 August 2020

Amref Health Africa, with support from Mastercard Foundation, will implement a one-year programme to train 33,104 healthcare providers and 31,280 frontline community health volunteers to identify, treat, and manage COVID-19 cases. Mastercard Foundation has committed approximately US$1.8 million to the program through its COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme, which aims to help communities and institutions in Africa withstand and respond to the short-term impacts of this pandemic while strengthening their resilience in the long-run.

“During this pandemic, partnerships have proven to be essential, particularly in equipping health care personnel and strengthening diverse institutions in the front line against the social and economic aftermath of this disease. We will work with Mastercard Foundation to expand community surveillance and testing, while equipping more health workers and communites with information on the disease.’’ said Dr Meshack Ndirangu, Country Director, Amref Health Africa in Kenya.

Amref’s existing digital learning solutions (LEAP and JIBU) will be used to prepare the health care workers to carry out disease surveillance, referral of suspected cases, contact tracing, uphold biosafety standards, and receive updates on correct measures to prevent and manage COVID-19 infections.

“With the Leap Platform, we were able to immediately support the Ministry of Health’s preparedness efforts by digitising and deploying key COVID-19 messages as well as learning material to volunteers from across the country,’’ said Caroline Mbindyo, CEO, Amref Enterprises.

The programme will harness the capacity of the Amref Central Laboratory to provide additional capacity following the Ministry of Health’s call for support in handling the surge in COVID-19 cases. It will leverage on Amref’s existing technological infrastructure, relationships with the Ministry of Health, and existing technology partnerships to rapidly roll out training for laboratory technologists from the selected GeneXpert sites to start testing for COVID-19. Those who will be trained include 47 County Medical Laboratory Coordinators, 58 Sub-county Medical Laboratory Coordinators, 520 laboratory staff from the 57 GeneXpert sites on the use of GeneXpert for COVID-19 testing, biosafety, sample management and referral.

“A key priority of Mastercard Foundation’s COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program is to strengthen the public health response across the continent. The Africa CDC has made it clear that socio-economic recovery is contingent on our ability to build the capacity of health systems. The Ministry of Health has echoed this and issued a call for support. We’re grateful to be working with Amref Health Africa to continue supplementing the swift, excellent, and ongoing action we have already witnessed from a range of actors,” said Daniel Hailu, Regional Head, Eastern and Southern Africa.

In the wake of the rising cases of COVID-19, the programme will collaborate with the Ministry of Health to scale testing beyond the existing sites that are offering real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) screening. This will be achieved by enabling 57 peripheral health facilities to carry out laboratory diagnosis for COVID-19 using GeneXpert machines. The funding will equip these laboratories with basic biosafety equipment including autoclaves, biosafety cabinets and biosafety certification to assure safe testing.

[ENDS]

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Amref Health Africa

Amref Health Africa, headquartered in Kenya, is the largest Africa based International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO) currently running programs in over 35 countries in Africa with lessons learnt over 60 years of engagement with governments, communities and partners to increase sustainable health access in Africa. Amref Health Africa also incorporates programme development, fundraising, partnership, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and has offices in Europe and North America as well as subsidiaries: Amref Flying Doctors, Amref Enterprises and the Amref International University.

About Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organisations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Mastercard created the Foundation in 2006 as an independent organisation with its Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org

About Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program

The Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program has two main goals. First, to deliver emergency support for health workers, first responders, and students. Second, to strengthen the diverse institutions that are the first line of defence against the social and economic aftermath of this disease. These include universities, financial service providers, businesses, technology start-ups, incubators, government agencies, youth organisations, and nongovernmental organisations. For more on the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, please visit https://mastercardfdn.org/covid19-recovery-resilience-program/. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at @MastercardFdn

PRESS CONTACTS

Janice Njoroge, Communications Manager, Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Email: [email protected]

Helen White, Strategy Lead, Program Communications, Mastercard Foundation, Email: [email protected]

About Amref Health Africa (www.amrefcanada.org): Amref Health Africa, the largest African-led international organization on the continent, reached more than 5.3 million people directly in 2019 through 178 health-focused projects. Founded in Kenya in 1957 as the Flying Doctors of East Africa, Amref Health Africa’s strategic pillars focus the organization’s work around human resources for health, innovative health services and solutions, and investments in health. Our partnerships with communities in Africa to create lasting health change are at the heart of all we do.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Jennifer Foulds, Communications Director, Amref Health Africa in Canada: +1 647-771-5815 (cell); [email protected]

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