Thursday, September 17, 2020

USAID Country Director, Mark Meassick and UoN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama
looks on as one of the sixth year medical students puts on the PPEs

The United States government through the United States  Agency for International Development, USAID has donated 12 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to the University of Nairobi's medical school. The PPEs were donated yesterday, September 16, 2020 at the College of Health Sciences.

Speaking during the event, the USAID Country Director to Kenya and East Africa, Mark Meassick, observed that donation of the PPEs marks a step towards the long standing relationship that they want to establish with the University of Nairobi. He took the opportunity to offer condolences to the health workers who have been affected by COVID-19 and more so those who have lost the battle to the pandemic as they worked to save lives. “This donation is our gesture to keep you safe. We look forward to a deeper level of engagement. This is the first step going forward”, he said.

Meassick called upon universities to embrace change and reforms, saying that COVID-19 is a wake-up call to the education sector. “Universities are hard to reform. I have worked with universities in South America over the last decade. COVID19 is a wake-up call,” he quipped.

The USAID Country Director also took a swipe at the government officials who have looted from KEMSA. “COVID19 scandal is disturbing for us from the United States of America. We have put in $30 million to build KEMSA and we are deeply worried to see the scandals. I urge the students and the graduating doctors to do the right thing. I urge you to be people of integrity who appreciate accountability”, he said. He also recounted the one million plus people who are on ARV drugs courtesy of USAID.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, outlined his reform agenda that is destined to make the University of Nairobi vibrant and sustainable. “ Our reform agenda is meant to add value to staff, students and our partners and collaborators, you being one of them”, he said. The Vice Chancellor observed that as the University, they will be the leading light in the midst of darkness – the darkness of corruption that has blinded the Kenyan populace. “We must agree that it is possible to work with integrity,” he concluded.

Prof. James Machoki, Principal, College of Health Sciences opined that, ‘We must be the change that we seek for – we must be the change agent’.

A total of 1600 faceshields, 4000 KN95 respirators, 1600 PPE suits and 10 goggles were donated by USAID, total being 12 million shillings.