Kenya secures Sh14b loan for Covid vaccines
The World Bank has approved an additional Sh13.9 billion line of financing for Kenya to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to citizens.
In a statement yesterday, the World Bank said the financing is meant to facilitate the procurement of more vaccines through the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) initiative under the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) scheme.
The funds are also meant to support vaccines deployment by boosting cold-chain storage capacity. It aims to equip 25 county vaccine stores, 36 sub-county stores and 1,177 health facilities with vaccine storage equipment.
“This additional financing comes at a critical time when the government of Kenya is making concerted efforts to contain the rising cases of Covid-19 infections and accelerate the deployment of vaccines to a wider population,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.
“The upfront financing for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines will enable the State to expand access to more Kenyans free of cost.” Yesterday, the Ministry of Health reported the country registered 287 new Covid-19 cases out of a test sample of 2,699 - representing an 11 per cent positivity rate.
So far, 3,612 people are reported to have died from Covid since its outbreak last year, out of 182,884 total confirmed cases. There are 124,588 recoveries according to government data. “With increased support for a rapid Covid-19 response, the World Bank is offering the State a flexible approach to select a portfolio of vaccines that best suits local capacities, timings of delivery and vaccine approvals,” said Jane Chuma, World Bank Senior Health Economist.
The funding marks the second tranche of financing by the World Bank towards fighting the pandemic. The World Bank has lent Kenya a total Sh26.3 billion to fight the pandemic.