Mastercard Foundation and Kenya Red Cross Join Forces to Drive COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Efforts in Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya – July 16, 2020 – The Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, in collaboration with Kenya Red Cross, today announced a partnership to support the Ministry of Health to strengthen the healthcare system in Kenyan COVID-19 high risk counties.
The ongoing global pandemic has created unprecedented health and socio-economic challenges. It has significantly impacted primary healthcare, mental health, gender-based violence, and the economy. The growing demand for urgent healthcare services is straining national healthcare systems and healthcare workers, threatening to leave the healthcare systems overstretched.
Under this project, the Mastercard Foundation and Kenya Red Cross will support the training of 2,585 healthcare workers. The training will focus on infection, prevention and control (IPC) of COVID-19, surveillance, contact tracing, and patient management. The provision of essential health services will be enhanced through the support of health facilities, which will be stocked with essential medications especially for persons with pre-existing conditions. The project will also train 2,100 community health volunteers who will support surveillance, contact tracing, and the newly instituted home-based care and isolation initiative.
This pandemic has further compounded gender, age, and disability inequalities, placing women, girls, boys, and vulnerable populations at greater risk of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and psychological distress. With the rising cases of GBV, the program is supporting existing coordination mechanisms of GBV prevention, risk mitigation, and response services.
“We are at a critical stage in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the number of infections increasing every day. To achieve the desired progress, our healthcare facilities and professionals must be effectively equipped to manage the growing numbers. We must also however strengthen our community level prevention to avoid overwhelming our healthcare facilities,” said Kenya Red Cross Secretary-General, Dr Asha Mohammed.
Frontline Health care workers in Nairobi county trained on how to manage COVID-19 patients and careful donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment. Photo by Jane Kendi- Multimedia Officer-Kenya Red Cross.
In line with the recently published report of the Task Force on Mental Health in Kenya, Kenya Red Cross, through this partnership, has proposed to increase Kenya’s frontline responders and youth access to the provision of mental health and psychosocial support, psychological First Aid, and protection services. This will be achieved through capacity building and strengthening, scaling up of the 1199 Kenya Red Cross free tele-counselling services as well as developing various platforms to reach young people.
“Expanding the capacity of our healthcare systems has never been more urgent. We are grateful to be partnering with the Kenya Red Cross Society, who have extensive experience delivering emergency health support in times of crisis,” said Daniel Hailu, Regional Head, Eastern and Southern Africa, Mastercard Foundation. “This program will not only build Kenya's capacity to test, trace, and treat, but it will also address some of the attendant issues being caused by this crisis, including the alarming rise in gender-based violence.
This partnership will employ innovative technology, specifically through the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems /Drones for community sensitization, mapping of hot spots to inform planning, detecting body temperature, and disinfecting high risk and crowded areas. A mental health Chatbot, Dr. Imani, will also be employed to enable individuals seeking mental health and psychosocial support to reach services from the comfort of their homes.
The targeted counties include Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Mandera, Kiambu, Kajiado, Kitui, Nakuru, Siaya, Homabay, Kakamega, Kwale and Uasin Gishu with Busia as an additional county; a border county with increased vulnerability caused by truck drivers transiting across several countries.
About Kenya Red Cross COVID-19 Response
As an auxiliary to the Government agencies, the Kenya Red Cross Society has continued to implement interventions to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country and minimize the impact of the pandemic on communities. These interventions coordinated closely with both The National and County Governments include; creation of awareness among the general public and communities in prison and refugee camps; installation and distribution of handwashing facilities; provision of free psychosocial support and counselling on 1199; livelihood support to vulnerable households and distribution of PPEs.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
For additional information, please contact:
Kenya Red Cross Society
PR and Communication Manager
+254711 590 911
Strategy Lead, Program Communications
+27 76 166 5372