AMREF Health Africa in Kenya with support from The Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Kenya (CCBA Kenya) has commenced the manufacturing of quality and affordable personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight COVID-19 at its Dagoretti Fashion and Design Centre in Nairobi.
The initiative is supporting young women and girls from informal settlements around Nairobi to produce masks and surgical gowns to be affordably sold to local communities and hospitals across the country to help in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“We expect to sell the masks at subsidized prices of up to 50% discount within Dagoretti, working with community health workers as the primary distribution channel. We will also make use of Amref programmes across the country to distribute the masks in their areas of implementation,” said Dr Meshack Ndirangu, Amref Health Africa in Kenya’s Country Director.
“The support from the Coca-Cola Foundation is assisting to meet the country’s urgent need for quality-assured PPE for use by the community and health workers. It is also creating an opportunity for young women to gain skills that are enabling them to earn a living at a time when many businesses have been disrupted. We look forward to seeing them make use of these new competencies to start their own enterprises,” said Xavier Selga, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Kenya.
The Coca-Cola Foundation is providing Amref Health Africa with a total of Kshs 17.5 million to support several health initiatives in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus in the country. In addition to the production of PPEs, Amref Health Africa will use the funds to provide access to enhanced hand hygiene and sanitation to communities in need across the country.
“The private sector continues to play a big role in supporting initiatives that seek to control the spread of this pandemic. We are pleased to have received funds from The Coca-Cola Foundation that will enable us to reach communities in Kibera, Muoroto and Kisumu Ndogo in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kilifi counties respectively with water, hygiene and sanitation services including handwashing points to prevent the spread of this disease in these populous areas,” added Dr Ndirangu.
Other activities under this initiative include building the capacity of the Ministry of Health staff to undertake disinfection and decontamination of public premises, providing basic diagnostic and screening equipment and supporting women and youth groups to make hygiene products such as soap.
The support is part of Coca-Cola’s global efforts to help control the spread of COVID-19 with Kenya being among the 13 African countries in East and Central Africa receiving support.