NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – Ministry of Health has received COVID-19 test kists from Kenya’s largest mining company, Base Titanium. The test kits that can carry out 1,344 COVID-19 tests are known as Sansure COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Diagnostic Kits and will assist the government in its efforts in combating the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Dr. Melba Wasunna, Base Titanium’s Manager External Affairs said that “Following a request from the State Department for Mining Principal Secretary Kaberia, and recognizing the need to build testing capacity, we committed to procuring and donating to the Government a number of testing kits.”
She added that “These kits are one component of Base Titanium’s COVID-19 support programmes. On the ground in Kwale, we are installing handwashing stations, providing food packages to vulnerable households, and are working with Kwale County to train 75 additional health workers.”
This donation comes amid reports by The Lancet, a worldwide medical journal, that African health authorities are struggling to compete with richer, more powerful countries when it comes to procuring the scarce testing material on the global market due to increased demand. This is despite the emphasis by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the need for testing fast and accurately.
The test kits were received by the Health CAS Dr. Rashid Aman at the Afya House who thanked the team and everyone who has helped the Ministry in fighting COVID-19. He said, “It is Commendable what private sector is doing and encourage them to continue supporting government to fight the disease. It will stretch us and our resources and the ministry continues to be in dire need of PPE and medical equipment.”
The intervention by Base Titanium is part of the company’s COVID-19 Strategy that aims at easing the burden on communities, authorities, and staff in the wake of COVID-19. So far, the company has invested over Sh 80 million in different programmes that include, food donation to over 50,000 households in Kwale County (in partnership with Kwale County Government), 100 ventilators to the Ministry of Health, 15,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to different stakeholders and over 150 sanitation stations across different regions in Kwale County and Likoni Sub-County.