U.S. government to provide Ksh.705 million to Kenya’s COVID-19 Response

U.S. government to provide Ksh.705 million to Kenya’s COVID-19 Response
File image of U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter.PHOTO| COURTESY

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has committed $6.6 million (Ksh.705 million) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) activities in Kenya to support prevention, preparedness and response.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Kenya said these additional funds will be used for surveillance, laboratory supplies and strengthening, and surge staffing costs.

“This funding builds on CDC’s long-standing global investments to control HIV, TB and malaria, eradicate polio, prepare for influenza and other pandemic diseases. For more than 40 years, CDC has supported Kenya’s Ministry of Health (MOH) to improve health security, which have laid foundations to rapidly and effectively prepare for emerging disease threats, including the current COVID-19 pandemic,” reads the statement.

The U.S. Embassy says nearly $1.8 million (Ksh.192 million) will be immediately released to support critical needs for the COVID-19 response in Kenya.

This funding is expected to be used in procuring diagnostic sampling and testing supplies, provide county-level support, expand surveillance of COVID-19, and support health care workers in infection prevention and control practices among other key activities.

“Our commitment goes beyond funding – it’s in our contribution to national policies, to investing in the healthcare workforce and to strengthening health systems. We have been working alongside Kenya’s public health officials for more than five decades and continue to stand with Kenya throughout this crisis,” says U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter.

The U.S. Embassy says since early January 2020, CDC has deployed nearly 50 Kenya-based technical experts to support Kenya to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These CDC employees are said to be working side-by-side with Kenyan health officials at the national laboratory, county government offices, and the Public Health Emergency Operations Center in a range of activities, including:

Supporting trainings on preparedness and response measures at the national and county levels

Providing technical assistance on emergency operations, laboratory diagnostics, infection prevention and control, screening at ports of entry, risk communication and community engagement, and disease surveillance

Supporting the training of field epidemiologists (disease detectives) and giving them the necessary skills to collect, analyze and interpret data and contribute to evidence-based decisions.

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