State injects Sh10 billion to cushion elderly, vulnerable in crisis
The government has set aside an additional Sh10 billion to cushion the elderly, orphans and vulnerable groups against the economic effects of coronavirus.
Addressing the nation yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the fund would be distributed to the annual cash transfers kitty through the Ministry of Labour and social protection.
“This fund will cushion them from the adverse economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, by February this year there were a total of 1,094,045 beneficiaries.
The number of elderly beneficiaries is 764,644 while orphans vulnerable children is 295,307.
The Ministry in January released a total of Sh4.37 billion for November-December payment. Each beneficiary usually collect Sh2000 a month.
Uhuru also stated the number of coronavirus cases has increased to 28 after three more patients tested positive while one patient has recovered.
With the huge number of coronavirus patients across the global being elderly that also correspond to the deaths, the move is timely to protect the country’s senior citizens.
World Health Organisation (WHO) said older adults and people with underlying health conditions are vulnerable and may become more anxious, agitated and withdrawn during the outbreak.
“Engage their family and other support networks” to provide information and help them practice prevention measures, including handwashing, the UN health agency said.
WHO added that, when in isolation, they should stay connected and maintain daily routines, as much as possible.
Older people do not have strong immune system so they are more vulnerable to infectious disease.
They’re also more likely to have conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or kidney disease, which weaken their body’s ability to fight infectious disease.
To protect the elderly in the civil service, the President ordered and directed that all State and Public Officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above to go on leave.