Coronavirus Wakes Up PPE and Sanitizers Manufacturing in Kenya

Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI): Manufacturing rapid testing kits for Covid-19 to ramp up testing and begin population surveillance. KEMRI is also manufacturing the virus transport medium. The capacity is 20,000 litres are made per day.

Kitui County Textile Centre (KICOTEC): Manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), especially masks. Can produce 30,000 masks per day.

Rivatex East Africa (owned by Moi University): Manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), especially masks. Can produce 8,400 masks per day.

One of the 70 tailors hired by Rivatex East Africa making face masks to be used in the fight against coronavirus

Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (Nyeri): Manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 1,000 body suits for medical staff already distributed. 7000 face masks distributed to boda boda operators, community health volunteers and enforcement officers.

Technical University Mombasa (TUM): Manufacturing Automatic sprayer sanitizing systems.

Mount Kenya University: Manufacturing hand sanitizers and distributing for free to staff, entire university stakeholders in the offices, gates and other strategic locations. They have plans to extend production and distribute to the public.

Kenyatta University: Have developed a prototype for the much needed Ventilators, branded as “Tiba Vent”. The prototype was developed by 16 students. The University has capacity to make 50 ventilators every week. The manufacturing cost of each unit is approx Kshs 500,000.

A student conducts a demo during the launch of the locally assembled ventilator.

Government: Has reached an agreement with textile manufacturers to produce PPE. Ministry of Trade and Industry say that the material which is in stock among the manufacturers is sufficient to make 60 million masks with immediate effect. The masks will sell at not more than Kshs 20.

The East African Breweries Ltd Foundation: Partnered with two Nairobi-based industries (HACO Industries and Tropical Brands) to manufacture and distribute free hand sanitizers to vulnerable Kenyans across the country. The brewer committed Sh50 million to fund the production of 135,000 litres.

Vivo Energy Kenya, Total and Ola Energy (formerly OiLibya): Committed to produce at least 20,000 litres of sanitisers daily to support the government’s fight against the spread of coronavirus.

This is the attitude we need as a country. Exploiting existing technologies to create solutions for our problems. It is also a wake up call that we should not overly depend on global supply lines for essential medical equipment.

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