•Antonio Guterres UN Secretary General said the new hospital will help decongest some of the facilities.
•"Let me begin by conveying my condolences to the families of all those who have lost loved ones to a the COVID-19 pandemic — and expressing my full solidarity with the government and people of Kenya," Guterres said.
The United Nations has lauded steps being taken by the government to control the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
During the inauguration of the United Nations Covid-19 Health Facility in Nairobi Hospital, Antonio Guterres UN Secretary General said the new hospital will help decongest some of the facilities.
"Let me begin by conveying my condolences to the families of all those who have lost loved ones to a the COVID-19 pandemic — and expressing my full solidarity with the government and people of Kenya," Guterres said.
He said the virus continues to spread around the world.
"No country will be safe and healthy until all countries are safe and healthy," he said.
Guterres said that is why he has insisted that any vaccine and therapeutics developed for COVID-19 must be seen as a global public good, available and affordable for everyone, everywhere.
In response to the pandemic, the United Nations has mobilized fully and advocated for affected countries and regions to receive the solidarity and support they need, he said. The SG said Kenya plays a critical role.
"I thank President Kenyatta for being on the frontlines in this effort and offering a gracious contribution so that UN personnel and partners can stay and deliver with the assurance of receiving advanced care should they fall seriously ill," he said.
Guterres said Nairobi holds a special place for the United Nations in Africa and the world.
He said it is the home to a diverse set of United Nations system offices and operations, including the global headquarters of two United Nations programmes, numerous regional offices, a resident coordinator, a country team and the United Nations Office at Nairobi.
"The Office is the only United Nations Headquarters in Africa, and it provides services to UN operations in more than 150 countries," he said.
Collectively, the activities of these Nairobi-based United Nations entities make significant contributions to advancing United Nations goals and values – in Kenya, the region and around the world, he said.
"The importance of Kenya to the UN’s regional and global operations extends to its medical facilities. Kenya’s world-class hospitals make Nairobi our destination of choice for the emergency medical treatment of humanitarian, development and peacekeeping personnel and their families as well as our other partners in Africa," Guterres said.
Guterres said the UN has partnered with the Government of Kenya and The Nairobi Hospital to build, equip and operate a COVID-19 treatment facility.
He said the 100-bed facility, with 15 ICU, 45 HDU and 40 ward beds, is intended to reduce the burden of caring for COVID-positive UN personnel and partners on the Kenyan healthcare system so that existing beds in Kenyan hospitals can be fully utilized for Kenyan nationals.
He said it will also strengthen Nairobi’s role as the key regional peacekeeping, humanitarian and development hub.
"It will Augment the availability in Kenya of ventilators and other specialised equipment for COVID-19 intensive care."