World Bank approves Sh14bn for Kenya Covid vaccines

In Summary

• The new allocation brings World Bank’s contributions to Kenya’s Covid-19 response total $246 million (Sh26.5 billion).

• The money will also be used for vaccine safety surveillance, training for health workers, and advocacy and communications activities to encourage Covid-19 vaccine uptake.

Vicky Maiyu, a health official from Dagoreti Sub County receives covid-19 jab at Mutuini Hospital, Dagoreti on March 9, 2021.
Vicky Maiyu, a health official from Dagoreti Sub County receives covid-19 jab at Mutuini Hospital, Dagoreti on March 9, 2021.
Image: FILE

The World Bank has approved $130 million (Sh14 billion) additional financing to Kenya for acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines.

World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved the funding under the Kenya Covid-19 Health Emergency Response Project.

In a press statement, the bank said the additional financing will enable Kenya to procure more vaccines via the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) initiative and the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facilities.

“It will also support the deployment of those vaccines by boosting Kenya’s cold chain storage capacity,” the statement read.

Among interventions would be to establish 25 county vaccine stores, strengthening the capacity of 36 sub-county stores, and equip 1,177 health facilities with vaccine storage equipment.

Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya, according to the statement said the additional financing will help Kenya in its concerted efforts to contain the rising cases of Covid-19 infections.

Hansen said the funds will help accelerate the deployment of vaccines to the wider population.

“The upfront financing for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines will enable the government to expand access to more Kenyans free of cost.”

The money will also be used for vaccine safety surveillance, training for health workers, and advocacy and communications activities to encourage Covid-19 vaccine uptake.

“With the increased support for a rapid Covid-19 response, the World Bank is offering the government a flexible approach to select a portfolio of vaccines that best suits local capacities, timings of delivery, and vaccine approvals,” said Jane Chuma, World Bank Senior Health Economist.

The new allocation brings World Bank’s contributions to Kenya’s Covid-19 response total $246 million (Sh26.5 billion).