The family of Equity Bank Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi has contributed Sh300 million to the Covid-19 fund.
His millions were part of Sh1.1 billion shot in the arm from Equity Group Foundation, with support from Equity Bank and MasterCard Foundation, which gave Sh300 million and Sh500 million, respectively.
The funds, the contributors said, will be used to buy personal protective equipment (PPEs) for front line medical workers in public hospitals.
Dr Mwangi on Wednesday said he reached for his pocket after his attention was drawn to a group of students and doctors raising funds for PPE’s for young post-graduate students at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
“When I shared the need with my family, a robust discussion revealed the urgency to holistically address the issue. as it was not prudent to provide the PPE’s to students without also focusing on the plight of the doctors, nurses, clinical officers, and medical staff,” Dr Mwangi, who is also a member of Kenya’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund Board, said.
“We recognise that none of us can be safe as long as one of us is unsafe. We will endeavor to continue with engagement and mobilization of our partners towards procurement of diagnostic kits.”
Equity Bank Chairman Isaac Macharia said they recognise the vital role of health workers. “The board is proud to partner with universities and public hospitals in ensuring the safety of our health workers,” he said.
The contribution comes amid calls by doctors and nurses to the government to provide them with a welfare package and protective gear as they fight the virus.
MasterCard Foundation President and CEO Reeta Roy said safety of workers is paramount.
“We are grateful that this partnership meets the immediate needs precipitated by Covid-19, which the foundation is prioritizing through the MasterCard Foundation Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme,” she said.
Another corporate that made its contribution Wednesday is the Coca-Cola Foundation – the Coca-Cola Franchise in Kenya and its bottling partner Coca-Cola Beverages Africa – which revealed it had contributed over Sh30 million worth of support to Shining Hope for Communities, Kenya Red Cross and Amref Health Africa to bolster their efforts against coronavirus.
The support was in form of financial aid, assistance in distribution of sanitisers produced by Kenya Pipeline Company and donation of Coca-Cola beverages to medical facilities.
“We value our customers, employees and the communities within which we operate. Therefore, we would like to do our part to help prevent further spread of the virus while also supporting their needs,” said Ms Phillipine Mtikitiki, Coca-Cola East and Central Africa Franchise general manager.
The Sh17.5 given to Amref Health Africa will support health workers and provide potable water to vulnerable communities.
SHOFCO, on the other hand, will benefit from Sh10 million, which will be used to create awareness and provide hand washing points in Kibra and Mukuru in Nairobi.