The fight against Covid-19 got a boost following the launch of anti-epidemic robots that will help minimize the risk of infections among health care workers.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe says the smart anti-epidemic robot technology will be used to monitor body temperatures and collect data of up to 200 people in a minute.

Speaking Friday during the launch at Afya house, Kagwe said the three machines donated by the United Nations Development Program at a cost of Ksh36 million will minimize contact between doctors and patients.

The robots will be installed at Mbagathi Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

“We will be deploying these robots to Kenyatta National Hospital where, as in Rwanda’s case they will reduce exposure of health workers to Covid-19 patients, and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where they will assist in temperature screening, disinfection, communication of health messages and data capture”, during the launch of the Smart Anti-Epidemic Robot Technology at Afya house.

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The newest innovation is a collaboration with the Ministries of Health and ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, UNDP and the Japanese Government.

The three anti-epidemic robots are named Jasiri (courageous), Shujaa (hero) and Tumaini (hope).

Latest heroes and significance

The Jasiri and Shujaa are named in honour of the frontline health care workers.

According to Kagwe, Jasiri robot is named in honour of the courage it takes for our health workers to serve the nation while risking their own lives while Shujaa represents not only the 32 workers who succumbed to the virus but also those who continue to heed the protective measures propagated daily.

“If you have sacrificed visiting an elderly parent because you don’t want to risk their life, you are a hero. Equally, if you have continued to wear a mask in public places, maintain social distance from others and sanitize, you are our hero. And as for Tumaini, he represents our hope — our collective hope that through our continued adherence to the rules and our inoculation against COVID-19, we shall overcome the pandemic and return to our preferred state of normalcy” he explains.

Kagwe says besides helping protect the lives of valuable health workers, the innovation will fasten traveller clearance at the airports.

“I have every confidence that all of our travellers foremost the tourists visiting Kenya, will appreciate the ability of these robots to fast track traveller clearance at airports since they can screen the temperatures of up to 200 persons per minute”.

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