VACCINE EFFORT

Kenya to benefit from Sh800 billion to fight Delta variant

The country has received 2.3 million vaccines; a total of 2,033,277 administered

In Summary

• Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: “This investment is a tiny portion of the amount governments are spending to deal with Covid-19 and makes ethical, economic and epidemiological sense.”

• The WHO said many low- and lower-middle-income countries are struggling to access vaccines and treatments to fight the epidemic.

Abigail Owilla, a nurse administers Covid-19 vaccine to a health worker at Mutuini Hospital, Dagoreti on March 9, 2021.
Abigail Owilla, a nurse administers Covid-19 vaccine to a health worker at Mutuini Hospital, Dagoreti on March 9, 2021.
Image: File

Kenya will benefit from a new $7.7 billion (Sh800 billion) global effort to fight Covid-19 and carry out a study on emerging variants.

The fundraising appeal is led by the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator), a global coalition of groups developing and deploying the new diagnostics, treatments and vaccines needed to end the acute phase of the pandemic.

“With more Covid-19 cases reported in the first five months of 2021 than in the whole of 2020, the world is still in the acute phase of the pandemic,” the World Health Organization, an Act-Accelerator partner, said in a statement.

The WHO said many low- and lower-middle-income countries are struggling to access vaccines and treatments to fight the epidemic.

To date, Kenya has received 2.3 million vaccines with a total of 2,033,277 jabs administered across the country.

“Investing in the ACT-Accelerator to make tools available to everyone, everywhere, will benefit all countries through a more globally inclusive and coordinated response,” WHO said.

Of the funds, US$2.4 billion will help put all low and lower-middle-income countries on track towards a ten-fold increase in Covid-19 testing and ensure all countries get up to satisfactory testing levels.

 At least US$ 1 billion will go to research and development to ensure that tests, treatments and vaccines remain effective against the Delta variant and other emerging variants.

US$ 1.2 billion will address acute oxygen needs to treat the seriously ill and control the death surges caused by the Delta variant.

WHO said US$ 1.4 billion will be used to help countries identify and address key bottlenecks for the effective deployment and use of all Covid-19 tools.

At least US$ 1.7 billion will be used to provide two million essential healthcare workers with enough basic PPE, prevent the collapse of health systems where the health workforce is already understaffed and overstretched, and prevent further spread of Covid-19.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: “This investment is a tiny portion of the amount governments are spending to deal with Covid-19 and makes ethical, economic and epidemiological sense.”

He added: “If these funds aren’t made available now to stop the transmission of Delta in the most vulnerable countries, we will undoubtedly all pay the consequences later in the year.”