The Covid-19 vaccination drive has received a boost through a Sh950 million grant from the German government.
The grant was given to the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi (AKUH,N) and the Aga Khan Health Services, to boost the Covid-19 vaccination in East Africa and support the public health system.
The grant will enable AKUH,N and the Aga Khan hospitals in Kisumu, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam to increase access to Covid-19 vaccination through mobile vaccination drives and donations of relevant vaccine infrastructure to the public health system, the hospital said in a statement.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have partnered with the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in various ways and this grant will ensure that we can increase our support to the people of East Africa,” Dr Sulaiman Shahabuddin, president and vice chancellor of Aga Khan University, said.
“This partnership speaks to our values of impact and access and we are therefore extremely grateful to the German government for working with us to live these values as we serve humanity.”
The grant will also support training for health, media and communication professionals in the region.
The training will be conducted by the Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Graduate School of Media and Communications, the statement indicated.
This is the second grant the German government has offered to AKUH,N and the Aga Khan Hospitals in East Africa to support the Covid-19 response.
In 2020, the hospitals received Sh720 million for the purchase and distribution to the public health system of PPE and testing kits.
The hospitals used part of the grant to offset bills of Covid-19 patients who could not afford to pay.
On Monday, the Ministry of Health raised concern over 10 counties that have consistent low Covid-19 vaccination rates.
The counties in northern Kenya also host large refugee communities, the majority of whom remain unvaccinated.
The ministry said Marsabit has consistently had the lowest coverage in Kenya, which stood at 10 per cent on Monday.
It is followed by Tana River, Mandera and Wajir with about 11 per cent.
The others are Isiolo, Garissa, West Pokot, Narok, Bomet, Kwale, and Kilifi in that order. They all have less than 20 per cent coverage.
Although most of these counties have a pastoralist population, Bomet has a stable population but only 16.4 per cent have taken the jab.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the threat of Covid-19 is still high, especially among elderly people.
He said cases are still being reported in counties with low vaccination rates.
“In terms of county distribution, three cases are from Nairobi while Mandera and Nyeri have recorded one case each,” he said of the four cases reported on Sunday.
The disease has so far killed about 3,321 people since the first death in April 2020.