Assessment of Kenya’s Preparedness for the COVID-19 Emergency

Kipkogei Kemboi
Post Date: 27 April 2020

The threat of COVID-19 is real in Kenya. On April 20TH, 2020, there were 281 confirmed cases of people who have already tested positive for COVID-19 with 13,872 having been tested. Sixty-nine patients have already recovered and fourteen have already passed on. It is important to note that COVID-19 is the disease while Sars-Corona Virus 2 is the virus causing the disease. This virus belongs to a large family of viruses that range from common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and SARs were first identified in 2012 and 2003 respectively.  

This piece assesses risks that would weigh against each other, depending on the choices made by the government. This is a key consideration because human behaviour is characterized by inconsistencies in preferences and actions. Humans are generally responsive to visible risks to their health. A study by the Pew Research Centre shows that about 70% of Kenyans state that they are likely to take action over poor health care. To elicit the desired response from individual Kenyans, the Ministry of Health must design a comprehensible public education program that illustrates the risks and losses that Kenyans would face if they don’t adhere to recommended health codes of behaviour. 

Emergency preparedness is the capability, planning and training required to respond to a crisis that affects people’s health and consequently the economy. Thus, preparedness for any pandemic requires knowledge and capabilities by governments and non-state actors to respond and recover from the effects of the hazards. 

Gender Inequality in Kenya through the GII Lens

Melody Njeru
Post Date: 16 April 2020

The theme for the International Women’s Day celebrations for 2020 was “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. This day also marked the 25th anniversary since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 1995 that was adopted by 189 governments. Through the Beijing Declaration, governments committed to taking bold strategic action in 12 critical areas of concern: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanism, human rights, media, environment and the welfare of the girl child . 

In addition to the Beijing Declaration, through the pledge to leave no one behind, countries committed to fast-track progress for those furthest behind through implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among them, SDG 5 envisions that by 2030 there will be no discrimination against women and girls. However, the world is not on track to achieve this. 

Four Policy Moves Government Must avoid during the COVID-19 Emergency in Kenya

Kwame Owino
Post Date: 03 April 2020

There is no doubt that the policy choices for the year 2020 were changed drastically on March 13, 2020. This was the date when the first patient for COVID-19 was confirmed in Kenya. Since that time, the Ministry of Health has issued daily press statements recording the number of tests that have been conducted in Kenya, reiterated the messages on how to avoid infection with Sars Coronavirus 2 and urged Kenyans to observe physical distancing and to work from their homes.

On March 25, 2020, the president announced state interventions to cushion Kenyans against the economic effects of the COVID-19 epidemic. It became clear that while the priority must be ensuring that the COVID-19 infections are slowed down to allow for the flattening of the curve of infections, there are requirements to fund the response to the problem of infections and its effects on economic performance. Since that time, there have been a large number of suggestions on what government should do immediately in order to ensure that the health crisis does not extend and that its collision with economic pressures doesn’t create further harm to firms and individual Kenyans.

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