The Aga Khan Hospitals have received a 950 million shillings grant from the German government to boost the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in East Africa and support the public health system.
The grant was offered by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Development Bank (KfW) to the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi (AKUH,N) and the Services of health Aga Khan, East Africa.
The grant will enable AKUH,N and the Aga Khan Hospitals in Kisumu, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam to increase access to vaccination against Covid-19 through mobile campaigns and donations of vaccine infrastructure relevant to the public health system.
“The German government has committed additional funds to its partners to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. KfW has a long-standing partnership with the Aga Khan University in East Africa,” said Jens Bessai, Division Manager of KfW Development Bank in a statement.
“We are therefore delighted that, through this cooperation, we are jointly facilitating this project to expand access to vaccines in the region.”
Kenya plans to vaccinate 27.8 million people and has acquired vaccine doses from Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson to complement AstraZeneca vaccines.
Kenya has administered 20.9 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine (partially and fully in part), the health ministry said in an update on Sunday.
However, the vaccination initiative has been slowed by the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.
Several East African countries have eased pandemic-related restrictions and eased rules on masking and quarantines, even as cases surge in parts of the rest of the world.
Kenya has relaxed Covid-19 measures, including the wearing of face masks in public, after keeping the case rate below 1% for months.
The German grant will also support the training of health, media and communication professionals in the region.
The Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Graduate School of Media and Communications will deliver the training.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have partnered with the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in various ways and this grant will allow us to increase our support for people in East Africa,” said said Aga Khan University President and Vice-Chancellor Sulaiman Shahabuddin. .
This is the second grant the German government is offering to AKUH,N and the Aga Khan Hospitals in East Africa to support the Covid-19 response.
In 2020, hospitals received 720 million shillings for the purchase and distribution to the public health system of personal protective equipment and test kits.
The grant also covered the cost of care for Covid-19 patients who could not afford care as well as improving critical care infrastructure at Aga Khan Hospitals.