Kenya tech response to COVID-19 expanded

Samsung Electronics East Africa

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – OVER 5 500 frontline healthcare workers are to receive a combined 195 terabytes of data, 10 million voice call minutes and 33 million SMSs monthly as Kenya adopts technology to aid its response to the coronavirus.

Safaricom, the mobile network operator, will provide the communication bundles, which sees it extend the support that was provided for three months from April.

The bundles will be made available for an additional three months to the 5 529 frontline health workers as identified by the Ministry of Health.

Each health worker is set to continue receiving a monthly bundle consisting of 12GB data, 600 minutes and 2 000 SMSs.

“Health workers are our first line of defense, and the continued support from Safaricom is a big boost to our containment efforts,” said Dr Rashid Abdi Aman, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Health.

He said more resources were required to enable the frontline teams safeguard the health of Kenyans.

“We look forward to a continued partnership in the fight against COVID-19,” Aman said.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Safaricom has implemented various initiatives to support health workers.

Through its philanthropic arms, the M-PESA and Safaricom Foundations, Safaricom has invested over KES 42 million towards providing personal protective equipment (PPEs) to health workers around Kenya.

Samsung Electronics East Africa also donated 500 smartphones worth KES 3.8 million towards improving communication and to monitor and aid the movement of testing and care teams.

Charles Kimari, Director of Mobile, Samsung Electronics East Africa, said the contribution to the Ministry of Health was designed to better equip frontline responders.

“It is to them we owe our thanks,” Kimari said.

– CAJ News

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