SlovakAid, a humanitarian relief program of the Republic of Slovakia, on 27th July donated 50,000 diagnostic tests, aimed at alleviating the effects of Covid-19 in Kenya.
The humanitarian aid worth about Ksh27 million, includes one PCR thermocycler device to perform the tests and 20,000 FFP2 respirators as well as 1,800 litres of hand sanitizer, among other supplies.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, held at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Ms Mercy Mwangangi, said the country continues to face difficulties of Covid-19 pandemic with over 93% of counties having reported positive cases as of July 25, 2020.
“This donation will enhance community engagement efforts in the management and control of Covid-19 even as we implement home-based care. It will also complement government efforts in the provision of medical supplies while improving the capacity of the health workforce for Covid-19, infection prevention,” said Ms Mwangangi.
Funded by global internet security company ESET, the PCR test kit – vDetect COVID-19 RT-qPCR – was approved by the Slovak Republic’s State Institute for Drug Control (ŠUKL) on May 14th, 2020. It was developed through the collaborative research of scientists from the Slovak company MultiplexDX and registered in the European Database on Medical devices (EUDAMED), on May 26, 2020, for distribution in Europe as a CE-marked in vitro diagnostic test.
Mr Ken Kimani, Channel Manager for ESET East Africa said the firm, with a history of research and technology innovation in internet systems and data security, had invested over Ksh17 million in the development of the vDetect COVID-19 RT-qPCR, for testing Coronavirus in humans.
ESET has since the Covid-19 outbreak in Kenya also extended various support initiatives to local businesses and consumers through provision of internet security technologies aimed at encouraging a safe and secure work-from-home culture for individuals, businesses and schools.
“We have extended the free trial period of ESET Internet Security from 30 days to 90 days for our consumer markets. for businesses” said Mr Kimani, “We have extended the 90-day trials of ESET Endpoint Protection Cloud for up to 250 Seats to also include the ESET Secure Authentication.”
Speaking at the event, Frantisek Dlhopolcek, the Slovak Republic Ambassador and Head of Mission, said Kenya was the first country to receive the PCR tests through the Slovak Humanitarian Aid. The second donation is destined for Lebanon in September 2020.
“Kenya is one of the three development cooperation program countries of the Slovak Republic and our strategic partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the pandemic started, the Slovak Republic has provided about 12 grants worth Ksh14.5 million to nine county governments and three Non-Governmental Organizations aimed at improving the Covid-19 crisis in the country,” said Dlhopolcek.
The projects are targeted on purchasing medical equipment like beds for hospitals, thermometers, facemasks, gloves, gowns, sanitizers, and other medical essentials.