By Lorraine Anyango
Kisumu, Migori, and Busia counties have benefitted from Covid-19 commodities in the wake of the sixth wave of the pandemic and the current crowding due to the ongoing campaigns.
The commodities donated courtesy of UNDP and the Russian embassy in Kenya were handed over at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) to chief officers from the health department of the three counties.
The donations availed under a project dubbed ‘Strengthening Covid-19 Response for Kenya’. The preparedness, response, and recovery are a collective effort of the ministry of health and the county government of Kisumu, Migori, and Busia as beneficiaries with UNDP and the government of Russia as supporting entities.
The Russian government donated 120 Million shillings to implement the project. “One cannot have a strong spirit in an unhealthy, hospitals are the places we can get help to heal our bodies, and the society as a whole can only be considered healthy when its members enjoy universal access to health care.” Mr. Vladimir Lenev, from the Russian Embassy in Kenya, said.
“The sixth wave of covid-19 infections is signified with the number of cases in the county increased by 92 % in the past month, compared with the previous four weeks, this presents a great opportunity to hand over the procured medical commodities to fight the pandemic.” Ms. Evelyn Koech, Team Lead environment, and Resilient unit, UNDP said.
Mr. Gamaliel Omondi, a representative from the ministry of health said that the demand for quality-assured PPEs is still very high, going beyond face marks to incorporate gowns, gloves, google, face shields, and other items used by front-line health care and other essential workers.
“The proper use of quality-assured PPEs is crucial to prevent exposure to infectious diseases, including covid -19 pandemic, critically the functions of PPE’s are threefold, protecting health worker, ensuring essential health care services continue and enhancement of preparedness and response.” Mr. Omondi said.
The event which is of enormous importance to the country as it demonstrates collective resolve and desires to strengthen health systems to respond to covid 19 was aimed at availing equipment that will not only be useful in strengthening the safety of health workers but also promote sound management of health care waste in 15 health care facilities in the three counties.
During the event, calls were made to support border counties as they bore the heavy burden of covid due to the porous nature of the borders.
The project is intended to strengthen the resilience of the county’s health systems in terms of local production of equipment and commodities to mitigate against disruption of global supply chains while protecting jobs, and capacity building for health workers at the facility and community level for better surveillance and early warning.
In Addition, the project looks at enhanced medical waste management, raising awareness and responsible communication, and impropriation impacts of the pandemic on women by implementing responsive catalytic recovery intentions through the provision of starter kits and small grants targeting women and equip young girls with digital technology skills through training to enhance their job employment opportunities.
During the function, the team also took time to access the ongoing construction of a modern kitchen being put up at JOOTRH through support from UNDP and the Russian government.