The National Nurses Association of Kenya is working with the Equity Group Foundation to distribute personal protective equipment (PPEs) worth Sh200 million.
NNAK President Alfred Obengo said the exercise will enhance the safety of nurses and other healthcare professionals at the forefront of the war against Covid-19.
NNAK is part of the team that has been providing technical support to the Kenya Covid-19 Fund in partnership with the Equity Group Foundation that has mobilised Sh1.2 billion so far, for supporting healthcare professionals.
It is a professional association representing all cadres of nurses in Kenya, drawn from practice settings, education and research institutions.
So far, nurses at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, have benefitted from the PPEs.
More beneficiaries are in 17 other counties - Mombasa, Kiambu, Siaya, Busia, Kericho, Garissa, Kilifi, Kwale, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kisumu, Meru, Machakos, Laikipia, Kitui, Samburu and Nakuru.
Mr Obengo, who spoke in Nairobi on Tuesday about preparedness to counter rising cases of the virus, said the exercise is among “the association’s three priority measures to protect health workers.
The others are proper training and provision of psychosocial support.
He said the team has mobilised more resources from well-wishers, partners and friends of nurses for the effort.
Mr Obengo urged both the national and county governments to increase allocation of resources to enable healthcare personnel to effectively fight the pandemic.
He noted that nurses, midwives and other healthcare personnel are underequipped, understaffed and undertrained hence the need for additional investments in the three areas.
“Amid the rising cases of Covid-19 across the country, the situation in healthcare centres has continued to move from bad to worse, a development that endangers not only the lives of health workers but also those of their families,” he said.
This, the official said, may hinder provision of quality services, considering the ratio of nurses to patients has not been attained.
“We urge the government to provide protective gear and train health professionals for this is critical in offering quality health services. Our nurses and midwives need to be secured, now more than ever,” he said.
So far, Kenya has recorded three Covid-19 related deaths and at least 450 infections among healthcare professionals, sparking concerns about their safety at work.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
In Kenya, NNAK has rolled out a campaign aimed at recogniSing, celebrating and honoUring nurses and midwives while highlighting the challenges they face at work.
Mr Obengo also urged all healthcare professionals and members of the public to take personal responsibility in the fight against the virus.