Jack Ma Foundation donates medical equipment to boost fight on virus

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 00:00 |
Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Kenya Meles Alem (left), KAA chief executive Alex Gitari (centre) and Kenya’s Director of Health Patrick Amoth receive a donation from Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma at JKIA in Nairobi. Photo/PD/Kenna CLAUDE

Kenya has received medical equipment from the Jack Ma Foundation towards the fight against Covid-19 that has so far left 25 people test positive for the virus.

Jack Ma’s equipment includes 100,000 masks, 20,000 test kits and 1,000 other personal protective gear.

The shipment arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) from Addis Ababa aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight and was received by the Director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health Dr Patrick Amoth  accompanied by Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Kenya Meles Alem.

Jack Ma, the founder of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, had promised to issue out a total of 1.1 million testing kits, six million masks and 60,000 medical protective suits and face-shields to be distributed among all the 54 African nations.

Amoth said the donation would immediately be put into use to enhance capacity with the existing kits.

“We shall equip our National Influenza Centre, as well as all our Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) testing centres here in Nairobi, Kilifi and Kisumu,” Amoth said.

Amoth said priority will be given to personal protection especially to those working in isolation centres. “The government is assuring the Kenyan healthcare worker that Kenyans are supportive of their worthy course,” he added.

He said the donation will go a long way in the efforts aimed at preventing the spread of the Covid-19.

Meles said Ethiopia shares the same predicament with Kenya hence the collaboration.

“This is a global pandemic that requires global concerted and coordinated efforts.

All of us risk infection and therefore with such collaboration, we can be sure of winning against this pandemic,” he said. So far 43 African countries have reported 1,872 cases with 50 deaths.

Ethiopia has 12 cases while Kenya has 25 cases with the first case having been reported on March 13.

The Chinese entrepreneur also said that while delivering it won’t be easy, they will try to get it done. This comes just days after Ma announced that his Jack Ma foundation will be donating 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 protective suits to each of the 54 African countries.

Ma’s philanthropic efforts come after global shortages of essential medical and protective equipment have affected even the most developed economies.

Most African countries have closed their air entry points but have made room for cargo planes to enter and exit. 

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