In recent weeks we have observed with concern the rising numbers of COVID cases and scaling up of community transmission in Kenya.
We have also seen a reverse in individuals’ behaviour, from wide-spread compliance before opening up locked-down locations to people now not wearing masks, keeping distance or sustaining hygiene and protective measures.
The response to the pandemic by the Kenyan government has been strong, but there are various emerging issues that need urgent and intensified response measures throughout the country. As the disease outbreak develops in Kenya, we are working to ensure interventions are relevant and strategic. The need for resources cannot be understated.
The pandemic is at a critical stage and a new collaborative effort to slow down the spread of COVID and save lives has been announced today by the Government of Canada through a CDN 1.5 Million facilitation to WHO Kenya.
This grant will be used by WHO Kenya to support the Government of Kenya’s efforts to control the spread of the pandemic. Specifically, it will be used to strengthen Kenya’s surveillance and testing capability with a focus on vulnerable population and contact tracing across the counties.
The grant will also be used to build the capacity of health workers to engage communities and work with community and religious leaders, women, youth and special groups to inform communities about how to embrace protective measures and practice safe behavior. Radio messaging will be used to reach groups in remote locations, using local languages. Additional technical personnel will be deployed to the counties to support these activities.
“We are at a very critical part of the response and looking at other parts of the African continent, things do not look great for Kenya. We need to scale up the effort with much needed resources so that health care workers and disease tracers can do what is required to curtail the spread of the virus. We truly thank the Canadian Government for this generous grant, “Dr Rudi Eggers, WHO Representative said.
WHO is committed to supporting the county as it goes through this critical stage. Experience and lessons from other regions of the continent and elsewhere as well as ongoing scientific studies continue to guide our support in strengthening the country.
“As we`re seeing from around the world, the only way that we can open up our communities and economies safely, so people can return to work, is for individuals to follow the health guidance that we now know all so well. Canada echoes the urgings of His Excellency President Kenyatta, the CS for Health and the Government of Kenya for individuals to heed the best practices to stop the spread of the virus. We thank Dr. Eggers and WHO Kenya for their tireless efforts to slow down the spread of COVID in Kenya,” said Lisa Stadelbauer, High Commissioner of Canada to Kenya.