NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 22 – Chinese First Lady Prof Peng Liyuan has donated COVID-19 medical supplies to Kenya, to help in the fight against the virus.
Prof Peng donated the supplies to her Kenyan counterpart First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, as part of the Chinese Government’s consignment of COVID-19 medical supplies delivered to African countries to help in slowing down the spread of virus through the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD).
Kenya had recorded 14,805 positive cases and 260 deaths by July 22, with the infections peak projected at September.
The First Lady said the donation will go a long way in supporting her efforts in safeguarding women, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups from the disease.
Beyond Zero’s Coordinator Ms Angella Langat received the Chinese donation that comprised 18,000 surgical masks and 120 infrared forehead thermometers at the organization’s offices in Nairobi on behalf of the First Lady.
Speaking during the handing over ceremony, Ms Langat said the supplies will help ensure the safety of health workers in the Beyond Zero COVID-19 intervention.
“Kindly convey our warmest and sincere gratitude from Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta to Her Excellency Professor Peng Liyuan for this kind gesture,” Ms Langat told Mr Zhao Xiyuan, the Charge D’Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China who presented the donation on behalf of the Chinese First Lady.
The Beyond Zero Coordinator pointed out that the donation is a demonstration of China’s friendship with Kenya, and continued collaboration through the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD).
“The partnership and collaboration between OAFLAD and the Chinese Government in areas that concern our continent extends beyond today,” Ms Langat said.
She acknowledged that support from the Chinese Government for Beyond Zero through donations of medical supplies in the past has augmented the impact of Beyond Zero’s work in supporting women, children and vulnerable communities.
“We are extremely honoured to have had the opportunity to invite Ambassador Wu Peng during the Nairobi Medical Safari which was held in January this year. These Medical Safaris have enabled us to provide citizens with free medical services,” she said.
On his part, the Charge D’Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China said the donation reflects First Lady Peng’s care for the health and development of Kenyan women and children as well as the friendship between China and Kenya.
“In the face of Covid-19, China and Kenya have offered mutual support and fought shoulder to shoulder with each other. China shall always remember the invaluable support Kenya gave us at the height of our battle with the Coronavirus.
“In return, when Kenya was struck by the virus, China was the first to rush in with assistance and has since stood firm with the Kenyan people,” Mr Zhao said.
He expressed optimism that through Beyond Zero the donated medical supplies will play a positive role in helping Kenyan women, children, adolescents and other vulnerable groups in the fight against the pandemic.
“To express the friendly feeling of the Chinese people towards the African people, the Chinese government is donating a batch of anti-pandemic supplies through OAFLAD to 53 African countries to help women, children and adolescents,” Mr Zhao said.
On Tuesday, OAFLAD hosted a High-Level webinar on the health and socioeconomic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic towards the realization of Universal Health Coverage in Africa.
During the meeting, which was the first in a series of webinars set to discuss the impacts of Covid-19, gender based violence against women and girls as well as disempowerment were identified as some of the challenges worsened by the pandemic.
The meeting also underscored the importance of ensuring vulnerable populations have access to quality and affordable health services.
The First Ladies called for concerted efforts to curb the increasing cases of gender based violence against women and girls.
The virtual meeting chaired by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe also underscored the need to promote safe spaces for women and girls especially during the current Covid-19 health crisis.