PHOTO/:Equity Group Chief Commercial Officer, Polycarp Igathe (left) and Secretary of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board, Principal Administrative Secretary, Kennedy Kihara (centre) hand over PPEs to Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) CEO, Prof. Micheal Kiptoo (right). Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board have donated 500,000 surgical masks valued at Ksh 2.5 million set to benefit 8,292 final year medical students from KMTC.

8,292 final year medical students studying in various disciplines including nursing, clinical medicine, pharmacy, laboratory medicine, orthopaedic technology, physiotherapy, medical imaging and oral health among others, have today received 500,000 medical grade surgical masks valued at Ksh 2.5 million from Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board.

The surgical masks are to facilitate the students who are scheduled to sit for final year qualifying examinations this February across 71 KMTC training centres in Kenya. The donation is part of Equity Group Foundation’s and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board’s sustained efforts to offer frontline healthcare workers PPEs and psychosocial support.

Speaking during the official handover event, Polycarp Igathe, Equity Group Chief Commercial Officer noted that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve with the world now reporting new variants of the diseases across various regions therefore calling for adaptability and agility in frontline response. He reiterated Equity Group’s commitment to safeguard healthcare workers serving in the frontline and appreciated their efforts in containing the pandemic within the country.

“It is now almost a year since Kenya reported its first COVID-19 case. Although it may seem that things are normalising, the numbers have been steadily rising and many Kenyans have unfortunately lost their lives including our very own frontline heroes, serving Kenyans in our medical facilities. The market will in the next few weeks receive these medical students for internship and employment opportunities and as EGF and the COVID-19 Fund Board, we saw it fit to support these bright and dedicated students as they complete the final year of their academic journey and perform their noble duties. The surgical masks donated today will go a long in alleviating their mental worry and stress regarding risk of exposure.” said Polycarp.

The Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board and Equity Group Foundation has for the past eight months embarked on an initiative to support frontline health workers in public hospitals with PPEs as well as establish a vibrant psychosocial support and mental wellness programme.

Commenting on this, Principal Administrative Secretary Office of the President Kennedy Kihara who is the Secretary of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board said, “As a Fund, we have been tasked with the noble mandate to fundraise and effectively utilize the funds that Kenyans are giving us towards cushioning citizens and the country from the adverse effects of COVID-19. We are delighted to partner with Equity in the health response and in boosting the confidence of our healthcare workers by availing PPEs in a timely manner. We urge all the beneficiaries of these PPEs to make effective use of them and to be good stewards of the resources allocated to them.”

While receiving the surgical masks, KMTC CEO, Prof. Micheal Kiptoo, “We are extremely humbled that Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board thought about our medical students and saw it fit to equip them with protective gear. We need all hands-on deck to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and our students are an important resource who are complementing the service of their senior colleagues in practice. This pandemic continues to affect all Kenyans irrespective of their background and we welcome other corporates to join in this worthy cause.”

KMTC, Clinical Medicine Students Representative Asher Otiende, lauded the efforts of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board and Equity Group Foundation noting, “Despite taking a long academic break, we are excited to finally enter the final part of our medical course. The surgical masks issued today will help us finish our clinical exams well and will offer the much-needed protection as we execute our duties. We sincerely appreciate Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board for thinking about us and for prioritising our safety.”

The Kenya COVID- 19 Fund Board and Equity Group Foundation continue to support 56 Public Hospitals in all 47 counties together with finalist students in 11 medical and dental training institutions in their efforts to ensure that healthcare workers are safeguarded as they provide frontline care and work round the clock to mitigate the health effects of the pandemic.