Equity Group CEO James Mwangi has contributed Ksh300 million to the COVID-19 Fund, a contribution that dwarfs all amounts gathered by the Fund before Wednesday.
In a statement to newsrooms, Mwangi said that the amount will be channeled towards the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to medical staff battling the virus in public hospitals.
Besides Mwangi’s hefty donation, Equity Bank has also donated another Sh300 Million while the Mastercard Foundation has donated Sh500 million to help Kenya deal with the virus.
Mwangi’s donation dwarfs all donations made by corporates except the Mastercard Foundation and Equity Bank, a lender under his wing.
“It started when my attention was drawn to a group of students and doctors who were raising funds for PPE’s for young post graduate students especially in Kenyatta National and Referral Hospital (KNH),” said Dr. Mwangi.
“When I shared the need with my family, a robust discussion revealed the urgency to holistically address the issue as it was not prudent to provide the PPEs to students without also focusing on the plight of the doctors, nurses, clinical officers, and medical staff.”
Besides his contribution, Dr. Mwangi revealed that a team comprising of medical experts tasked with coordinating and actualizing the initiative has been put together.
The team consists of Prof. Isaac Macharia – ENT, Specialist (Chairperson), Dr. Louis Litswa – Specialist Anesthetist and Critical Care Specialist (Member), Dr. Elizabeth Gitau – Kenya Medical Association (Member), Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda – Secretary General, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (Member) and Dr. David Kariuki – Senior Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Health (Member).
Alfred Obengo – Secretary-General, National Nurses Association of Kenya (Member), and Dr. Joanne Korir – Quality Assurance, Equity Afia (Secretary) are also part of the team.
The committee’s main mandate will be to ensure that medical staff at the frontline are well equipped to treat patients both in national and county-level hospitals.
Conversely, the Isaac Macharia led committee has also been tasked with setting up a mental wellness support system for medical staff.
The popular businessman who featured in the Bloomberg 50 last year for his entrepreneurial exploits thanked Mastercard Foundation for its donation saying the generous amount will go along way in helping Kenya be even more prepared to deal with shocks caused by the virus.
Dr. Mwangi also asked Kenyans to observe guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health while insisting that Kenyans must observe social distancing, regular sanitizing, limited movement, donning of face masks in public spaces and self quarantining at the suspicion of COVID-19 symptoms.
“We can overcome this global pandemic as a nation only in partnership with our Government, and by committing to our social contract where the Government and the Ministry of Health design the best medical policies and protocols, and we as citizens adhere to them faithfully. As a people, let us hold each other to account,” he stated.
Equity Group Chairperson Professor Isaac Macharia said the company recognizes the vital role of health care workers on the frontline and is proud to partner with universities and public hospitals in ensuring the safety of health care workers.
President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation Reeta Roy said, “Health care workers are at the frontlines of caring for all of us, safeguarding community health. We must keep them safe. We are grateful that this partnership meets the immediate needs precipitated by COVID-19.”