The government has received a major boost in its bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic after it received Sh270million from European Union.
The grant from EU through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) will be channeled through World Health Organization (WHO) Kenya.
The funding comes at a time when the country has 6,190 confirmed cases of the deadly disease which has claimed 144 people.
“This grant will be used by the WHO to support the government of Kenya’s efforts to control the spread of the pandemic,” said a press statement by WHO.
The money will be used to train frontline health workers at national and county levels and strengthen the ongoing work being done by the Covid-19 rapid response and clinical teams in all the 47 counties.
The funding will also be used to support risk communication and community engagement activities in areas that have been identified as hotspots across the country.
Some of the hotspots areas include Mombasa, Nairobi, Kilifi and border entry points.
In order to reach millions of Kenyans, the strategies being used include airing of messages in local languages in 21 radio stations and other media outlets in a bid to influence behavior change.
In the recent past, Kenyans have discarded the social distancing rules in public places and in some counties the residents are not wearing masks in public.
According to WHO, additional technical staff will also be deployed to the 47 counties to support the fight against the virus that has killed more than 400,000 globally.
“The grant comes at a critical time when we are dealing with community transmission and need urgent response measures to stop further spread,” said Dr Rudi Eagers, WHO Representative.
He added: “It is critical that health workers in all health facilities across the country are knowledgeable about the various aspects of the coronavirus so that they are able to protect themselves, their families and their patients.”
EU Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue said the collaboration between EU and WHO at this challenging times will help stop the spread of the pandemic.
“The EU is partnering with the WHO at this critical moment as it is the international organisation best placed to provide advice and concrete support to the specific Covid-19 related circumstances facing Kenya, based on its in-depth expertise,” said Mr Mordue.
He reiterated the EU commitment to help Kenya find solutions that will stop this pandemic from spreading.
This grant to Kenya is part of the Sh3 billion that the EU has provided to WHO in response to the Global Appeal to combat Covid-19 across the world.
Kenya has received support from EU and its member states during this crisis and EU is contributing over Sh35billion to Kenya’s response to covid-19.
The EU and WHO are working in close collaboration to provide resources to countries that need support in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.