Never has there been a more pressing need to protect our healthcare workers. Their daily work generally puts them in the path of assorted pathogens but in the case of this pandemic, they wake up to face a virus so contagious that it has almost brought the world to its knees. They match towards a virus that many of the rest of us can recoil and stay away from. One whose effects are threatening to fill up our hospitals and to cripple our somewhat existing healthcare system.
As we each play our part to flatten the curve, this is also the time for the country, private sector, and foundations to recognize that our healthcare personnel need us most and one of the best ways is by making sure that at the very least they have Personal Protective Equipment. And not just have them, but have them in high quality and in abundance. After all, these individuals have been transformed into the fist line of defense for the country. The danger they’re facing is massive and every time we get updates of more people testing positive, the picture gets worse. We also have them to thank every time people leave hospitals after treatment.
In this light, companies are stepping up and donating PPEs in different counties. Just yesterday, M-PESA Foundation came through for over 3,000 healthcare workers by donating PPEs. What’s more, the Foundation is sourcing these from local manufacturers, and working in partnership with Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists and Dentists Union to aid in distribution. The donation is estimated to cost Kshs.20 Million and will cater for 7 counties which will receive surgical masks, N95 masks, hand sanitizers, gowns, hazmat suits and face shields.
The 7 counties that will benefit from this donation are Kwale, Machakos, Nairobi, Kilifi, Migori, Kiambu and Busia.
This is not the first time that Safaricom is being philanthropic in the fight against the virus. In the last two months, Safaricom Foundation has extended a helping hand in Meru, Kajiado, Baringo, Uasin Gishu and Mombasa counties. The foundation has also funded water projects in informal areas like Kibera, Mathare, Kawangware and Korogocho. Several counties have also received handwashing soap. As we all know by now water and soap are quite a powerful arsenal against the virus.
Other than PPEs to health workers, in April Safaricom donated KES200 Million through the Safaricom and M-PESA Foundations towards providing Cash transfers for food to support vulnerable communities as well as thermal cameras worth KES 10 million to the Ministry of Health installed in various border entry points.
Safaricom has so far committed over KES 250 million in various philanthropic initiatives in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.