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Nairobi – “The Catholic nuns who work here have always worked to improve and expand access to basic medical care for the most vulnerable in the communities. We want the extensive network available to us across the country, our direct involvement in the health sector and proximity to the population to disseminate information about Covid-19 to the communities we care for and to promote the adoption of the vaccine”, says Sister Pasilisa Namikoye of the Little Sisters of St. Francis and Executive Secretary of AOSK in announcing a six-month Covid-19 prevention program. The campaign is promoted by women’s institutes and religious orders in Kenya, and focuses on vaccination awareness-raising activities to support the government’s efforts to create a “Covid-free Nation”.
Sister Namikoye stressed that the association “welcomes the efforts of the Ministry of Health in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic and recognizes that fighting the pandemic requires public sector support from the private sector when it comes to the Covid-19 – Promote vaccination campaign, distribute essential medication and protective equipment and enforce behavior to prevent infections”.
The association wants 80 nun-run health facilities across the country to conduct public awareness programs for the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, as well as to obtain personal protective equipment , Covid-19 tests, latex gloves, surgical masks and other support medical aids.
With the support of 1,500 helpers, including many Catholic nuns who work on the front lines, around five million people are expected to benefit from the initiative.
The health facilities operated by the nuns in almost all 25 dioceses of Kenya are mainly facilities that primarily care for the poor and the weak, which gives the nuns the “advantage of reaching large masses with messages of prevention and vaccination against Covid-19 “. According to AOSK, the nuns are part of the network of Catholic health facilities in Kenya which currently includes “65 hospitals, 90 health centers and 300 dispensaries with an approximate total of 5,837 health workers, of which more than 300 are run by nuns while the rest are run by Catholic dioceses / parishes”.