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KAPI New Year Message – 2021

In a day, we’ll be crossing over from a significantly life-changing year to the next. The year 2020 has been life-changing to all of us; work from home, masking, social distancing, job losses, and loss of loved ones among others. It’s been extraordinary how we’ve adapted to the changes, pivoted our systems to cope and weathered the storm. Regardless of this, the battle isn’t yet won. COVID-19 is still with us and we’ve got to comply with the recommended measures of washing hands, wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travels & gatherings where possible.

When the first case of COVID-19 was reported in March, our lives were turned upside down with anxiety and uncertainty at its peak. As an association rooted on our mission, to promote efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that medical products and healthcare technologies of the highest quality can be readily available for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, we have pivoted and continued to discharge our mandate through alternative means. Our physical meetings morphed to virtual meetings, stakeholders’ engagements took place virtually with a renewed commitment to leverage on our different strengths for improved efficiencies among others.

In September during the World Patient Safety Week, in conjunction with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK), National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK), Kenya Medical Association (KMA), Hospital Pharmacists Association of Kenya (HOPAK) and The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), we revamped our commitment to improve access to quality, safe and efficacious medical products and technologies as a prerequisite for quality healthcare & patient safety anchored on empowered, competent and protected healthcare workers. It also became evident that to foster this commitment, there’s need to continually engage with stakeholders and share insights for continuous improvement of care. As an association, we pledge to carry this into the next year.

Our members from the outset of the pandemic took up responsibility to engage with and contribute to the national response in different fronts. At institutional level, they adopted containment measures to safeguard their employees, reviewed their supply chain dynamics to buffer the sector from stock outs that were speculated. At community level, they were at the forefront in supporting communities through donations both to their communities and to professional associations to safeguard the wellbeing of healthcare practitioners among others. On global stage, our member companies have taken lead to develop therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19. These include vaccines that are currently in the pipeline by Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson among others. These have been made possible by our common commitment as an industry to improve access to quality lifesaving healthcare products and technologies for a healthy populace. In one way or the other, you as a stakeholder have made it possible for us to get to this point and we appreciate you for that.

As we welcome a new year, having come to terms with our new normal it’s time to improve on our performance rooted on our commitment to safeguard the health of our people and improve access to quality, safe and efficacious healthcare products and technologies. To realize this, we know we can only dream so big and bank on your support to make it a reality. It’s because of this that we commit the New Year to a “Year of Redefining Collaboration in the Pharmaceutical Industry”.

In the coming year, we’ll be keen to revamp and establish new collaborative engagements with stakeholders; bring science behind the work we do as an industry closer to the people we do it for and derive value from it and most importantly do good for our communities. Good business is good for business and this will always be at the core of our work. Let’s walk the journey together.

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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.

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