NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has appealed to the government to support faith-based hospitals with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in ongoing efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
ACK Archbishop Most Reverend Jackson Ole Sapit on Sunday said the move will ensure protection of health workers in faith-based facilities.
“The funds raised, the donations in kind and Personal Protective equipment kits procured should be distributed throughout the country to both public and faith-based facilities to enhance protection of health workers while treating the sick,” said Archbishop Sapit.
He further urged the government to channel some funds donated to fight COVID-19 to supplement budget shortfalls amid a decline in incomes as a result of reduced hospital visits.
“Decrease in utilization of health services at faith-based facilities is threatening their sustainability. They will not be able to raise enough income to pay the health workers,” Archbishop Sapit added.
He also called on the government to waive all taxes on PPEs to make them more accessible at a time when the demand continues to rise.
Sapit’s recommendations come at a time when health workers have threatened to down their tools over concerns on their safety in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kenya Health Workers Union Society and Kenya National Clinical Union officials Friday vowed to commence the industrial action on Monday, May 18, unless their grievances are addressed.
Some of the union officials said they have been purchasing their own Personal Protective Equipment.
Other unions within the crucial sector say despite government declarations that all is well, they have remained vulnerable and exposed to the disease.
However, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said the health ministry is in talks with union officials to address the worker’s concerns.
“Let me reiterate by saying and we have said it again that healthcare workers are basically the heartbeat of this response and so we are in discussions and negotiations with them to evaluate their concerns and to be able to come to a middle ground where we can actually move forward with this,” Mwangangi told a news conference on Thursday.
Kenya currently has 481 active coronavirus cases which are still under isolation and treatment with the tally of registered cases so far reported at 832.
The death toll rose to 50 on Saturday with recoveries standing at 301.
Globally, coronavirus has claimed over 300,000 lives and 4.7 million infections recorded.