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Biopharmaceutical Companies Take Lead in COVID-19 Response in Kenya

As a membership organization driven by tenets of social responsibility and commitment to public health, in the wake of COVID-19 it is in our purview to drive a common agenda to flatten the curve of transmission, build concerted efforts to ensure uninterrupted supply of medicines, diagnostics and healthcare technologies.

George Onyango, Country Manager – GlaxoSmithKline handing over donation of surgical masks to KMPDU leadership

Additionally, our member companies have been in the forefront driving action through donations in kind and financially to curtail the economic impacts of this pandemic on the less fortunate in the society. Times of hardship are when you know your true compatriots and based on the responses we’ve seen among our members we are confident as a nation we’ll emerge victorious in the end. When we count our losses and learn from this pandemic, we hope we’ll have a robust, responsive and people-centric healthcare system.

During the peak infection period coupled with stringent containment measures our member companies were involved in different initiatives as outlined below:

  1. Johnson & Johnson – Through the Kenya COVID-19 Business Response Platform committed Kshs. 5 Million to the emergency response by the government in different interventions as was necessary through a common engagement platform.
  2. Reckitt Benckiser – Through the Kenya COVID-19 Business Response Platform donated products and services to the national response team to a tune of Kshs. 13 million i.e. Kshs. 10 million worth of soap and Kshs. 3.8 million for Media Tv for public awareness and sensitization.
  3. GlaxoSmithKline – Donated surgical masks worth Kshs. 3 million to frontline healthcare workers through the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) to contain infection of health workers following global shortage of PPEs.
  4. AstraZeneca – Donated 35,000 surgical masks to the government to equip healthcare workers in the different isolation facilities.
  5. Bayer East Africa – Provided free IEC materials and hand sanitizers. These included fliers and posters with relevant COVID-19 information to sensitize the public and communities within which we operate both to both the employees and members of the public. Donation of five (5) handwashing water tanks to the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) to encourage handwashing as a preventive measure against COVID-19. The company also supported Tenwek Hospital in Bomet County with assorted PPEs including masks and gowns as well as thermos-guns and hand sanitizers.
  6. Novartis – With COVID-19, attention on other medical conditions have been at stake. On this account, when the world was marking World Sickle Cell Disease, as part of contribution to health systems strengthening and promoting care to Sickle Cell Disease Patients, Novartis offered support to the Ministry of Health, Kenya in commemorating the day. The support went into development of guidelines for the management of sickle cell disease as reported by the Chief Administrative Secretary of Health, Dr Rashid Aman.
Bayer Team at Tenwek Hospital as they donated PPEs to the facility.

These among many other interventions that were coordinated by industry leaders played a key role in shaping the trajectory of the disease in the country.