KENYA: Clerics Allow Government to Use Church owned Health Facilities in Response to Covid-19

NAIROBI, APRIL 17, 2020 (CISA)-The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) has asked the Government to include Faith Based Organisations (FBO) health facilities in the National COVID response as treatment and isolation centers instead of using schools.

“In the massive recruitment of health workers FBO facilities should be included as currently the Health Care workers are strained and need additional manpower. The government should also provide Personal Protection Equipment to Health Care Workers in these FBO facilities” reads their April 11 statement.

They committed to allow access to their schools, hospitals and any other facility that government experts need further asking the government to support the facilities through provision of control equipment and supplies and assist with infrastructure and fumigation services.

“We ask for quick accreditation of the Faith Based Organisation facilities by NHIF in order to enable the facilities to offer services in these times and when the need arises. The FBO facilities have been waiting for NHIF accreditation but is hindered due to bureaucracy at NHIF,” it adds.

While acknowledging the difficult circumstances that law enforcement officers have  in enforcing the curfew and partial lockdown they called for the respect for human rights, rule of law and access to Justice as provided for in the constitution.

“…the brutalizing of citizens during this time only adds injury to a people who are already vulnerable thus exposing them to the risk of contracting and or spreading the coronavirus disease,” they said.

As the government plans on supporting the vulnerable groups during the pandemic, religious leaders suggested a master plan on how to meet the basic needs of over 1.5 million people living in informal settlements in Nairobi, other towns and in rural areas and a clear post coronavirus economic recovery plan.

“We suggest that the parliament enact appropriate legislations that will allow for suspension of our current development budget and channel these monies among others to supporting livelihood of the vulnerable members of our society,” the statement adds.

Religious leaders committed to avoid congregational gatherings calling on Kenyans to continue adhering to measures put in place by the government to control the spread of Coronavirus.