#Quality Assurance for PPEs

Blog 19 May 2021
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A team of LSTM and Technical Quality subcommittee at National Ministry of Health inspect sample face shields from a supplier for quality assurance.

The relationship between the United Kingdom and Kenya does not stop at the government only. Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) UK mobilized funds from the British Citizens through the Bump it Forward campaign to support with provision of PPE in sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya is opportune to be part of this support.

The first confirmed of COVID-19 in Kenya was reported on the 13th of March 2020. Even before then, Kenya had undertaken emergency preparedness for the pandemic, however its impact on the health system and specifically health care providers remain a challenge at national, regional, and global levels. For Kenya, as of 12th May 2021, 4,978 (NERC) health care workers had contracted the corona virus disease with 39 of them paying the ultimate price of losing their lives to the disease.

In December 2020, doctors working in government hospitals in Kenya launched a country-wide industrial action over inadequate insurance benefits and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) while treating COVID-19 patients.  In a recent cross-sectional survey, conducted in the first 6 months of the pandemic in Nigeria, the availability of PPE and guidelines, and appropriate communications about covid-19 were the most significant predictors of reproductive health worker perception of health facility preparedness for COVID-19.

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) - Kenya, an affiliate of LSTM UK,  supports Kenya Ministry of Health (MoH) through the Department of Family Health’s Division of Reproductive and Maternal Health to improve maternal and newborn health  (MNH) and healthcare services. LSTM has a long-standing established partnership with Kenya, having worked with Kenyan MoH since 2009 to support Maternal and Newborn Health. This support over the decade has been made possible by UKaid.

In response to the plight of frontline health care providers, LSTM sourced resources to procure PPEs for HCPs. ‘As a matter of principle, quality always matters for the patients but also for me the HCP’ remarked Dr. Irene Nyaoke, LSTM-Kenya Senior Technical Officer. LSTM-Kenya has taken measures to ensure PPEs procured for HCWs are safe to use. In accordance with LSTM’s procurement procedures, PPEs suppliers were sourced with particular focus on county needs and Kenya Bureau of Standards requirements for basic safety and essential performance.

In collaboration with Technical Quality subcommittee that functions under Kenya National COVID-19 donations committee; supplier samples of face shields, masks, gloves, and gowns were inspected and tested for quality assurance before being approved for production.

In collaboration with Technical Quality subcommittee that functions under Kenya National COVID-19 donations committee; supplier samples of face shields, masks, gloves, and gowns were inspected and tested for quality assurance before being approved for production.

The Director of Clinical Medicine – MoH who is also a member of the Technical Quality subcommittee for National MoH said “We are the gate and remain accountable to our HCPs. MoH undertakes a quality assurance process to ensure a product that is safe for our health care providers on the frontline”

In the same determination for quality assurance, LSTM – Kenya led by the Country Director visited the supplier factory site to ascertain that recommendations from the MoH Technical Quality subcommittee were being adhered to.

LSTM – Kenya donates Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth KES 6.8 million to Health Care Workers in Uasin Gishu, Vihiga, Kilifi, Taita Taveta and Garissa counties.

Having passed the quality checks, 18,000 boxes (@50pcs) of surgical masks, and 7,000 face shields were donated to MoH for use by HCPs in the five LSTM -focal counties of Kenya.  This is the first of PPE donations from LSTM through Bump it Forward campaign.

While receiving the donations on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health – Kenya, Dr. Rashid Aman Chief Administrative Secretary stated that there was no better day to receive PPE donations from Partners, than the day when Kenya was commemorating the international Nurses’ Day. 

“Nurses are not only in the frontline in the care and management of COVID-19 patients in our hospital settings and the community home based care and isolation program, but also central in providing leadership at our facilities” – Dr. Rashid Aman

On behalf of the British citizens from whom the funds were raised; the National handover ceremony was officially attended by Richard Erlebach,  Deputy Development Director of the British High Commission in Kenya.

National Handover ceremony of PPE by LSTM

LSTM facilitated delivery and handover of the PPEs to the five counties including facilitating national MoH staff to travel for county handover and end-user verification.

Thank You @British citizens

Thank You LSTM @Bumpit Forward campaign

Thank You @MoH - Kenya

Thank You British High Commission – Kenya

Thank You our committed and selfless frontline health care providers.

 

For more Bump it Forward updates, click here.