Equity CEO James Mwangi donates Ksh300 million in the fight against COVID-19

Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr James Mwangi

The family of Equity Group CEO Dr. James Mwangi has donated Ksh300 million toward the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline medical staff dealing with COVID-19 patients in public hospitals in Kenya.

Equity Group Foundation and MasterCard Foundation also donated Ksh300 million and Ksh500 million respectively towards the initiative.

Speaking while announcing the initiative, Dr. Mwangi said, “It started when my attention was drawn to a group of students and doctors who were raising funds for PPE’s for young post graduate students especially in Kenyatta National and Referral Hospital (KNH).”

“When I shared the need with my family, a robust discussion revealed the urgency to holistically address the issue as it was not prudent to provide the PPE’s to students without also focusing on the plight of the doctors, nurses, clinical officers, and medical staff,” he added.

The Equity boss said that a team of medical professionals had been drafted to coordinate and actualize the initiative as below;

Prof. Isaac Macharia                    ENT, Specialist                                               Chairman
Dr. Louis Litswa                            Specialist Anesthetist and
                                                     Critical Care Specialist                                     Member
Dr. Elizabeth Gitau                        Kenya Medical Association                           Member
Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda        Secretary General, Kenya Medical                                                         Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU)                                                                                                                                                                                          Member
Dr. David Kariuki                          Senior Deputy Director General,
Ministry of Health                                                                                                   Member 
Mr. Alfred Obengo                        Secretary General-National Nurses                                                         Association of Kenya                                      Member 
Dr. Joanne Korir                           Quality Assurance–Equity Afia                        Secretary

The committee will coordinate the implementation of the initiative to ensure availability of PPE’s across the country and will help to scale up a mental wellness support system for medical staff initiated by the Kenya Medical Association (KMA).

Dr, Mwangi expressed appreciation to the Mastercard Foundation for the partnership and trust, saying that their generous contribution made it possible to scale up the investment to the national level and to provide PPE’s to medical staff attending and caring for COVID-19 patients.

He also appealed to Kenyans to observe interventions by the Ministry of Health on social distancing, washing hands and sanitizing regularly, limitation of movement, self-quarantining when in doubt, and wearing face masks when in public.  “By observing these recommendations, we shall collectively as a community and society become the first line of defense to avoid paying the price of an exponential community spread of the pandemic. We owe ourselves a duty of ensuring that we don’t add to the growing list of infected or contacts. Let us leave our medical staff and our health infrastructure to be our second line of defense for those who unfortunately become infected,” he said.

Equity Bank (Kenya) Ltd. Chairman Professor Isaac Macharia said that the The Board of Equity recognized the vital role of health care workers on the frontline and was proud to partner with universities and public hospitals in ensuring the safety of health care workers.

President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation Reeta Roy on his part said, “Health care workers are at the frontlines of caring for all of us, safeguarding community health. We must keep them safe. We are grateful that this partnership meets the immediate needs precipitated by COVID-19, which the Foundation is prioritizing through our Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program.”