Humanitarian Health Action

Kenya’s Director for Medical Services receives emergency medical supplies for fire survivors

9 February 2009

A sample of the emergency supply that was handed over by Dr. David Okello to the Kenya Government. Also at the ceremony is Ms Laura Caulligaro, First Secretary at the Italian Embassy in Nairobi.

9 FEBRUARY 2009 -- With financial support from the Government of Italy, the World Health Organization donated assorted emergency drugs and supplies for the management of the victims of the 31 January petrol tanker fire in Molo Town. The accident claimed many lives and many people remain in a critical condition in various hospitals, including in the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and the Nakuru and Molo government hospitals.

The consignment was received on 7 February by Kenya’s Director of Medical Services, Dr. Francis Kimani. Ms Laura Caulligaro, First Secretary at the Italian Embassy, Mrs. Margaret Wanjohi, Chairwoman of KNH, and Dr. Charles Kabetu, Deputy Director for Clinical Services (KNH), were also present at the handover ceremony.

The total value of the donated consignment is approximately 4.8 million Kenyan Shillings or EURO 50 000. It was mobilized from the Emergency Department of the Italian Foreign Ministry through WHO headquarters.

Dr. David Okello, WHO Representative in Kenya, said more support was needed for the 148 survivors undergoing treatment at various health institutions. He pointed out that the management of people suffering burns can be very frustrating. After the acute phase, which concentrates mainly on life-saving measures, the healing process can take long periods of time and may be associated with major deformities requiring specialized care. Dr Okello said discussions with the Government were under way to identify additional technical support that may be required.

The WHO Representative further observed that Kenya had experienced several disasters in the recent past and urged the Government to implement a system for disaster preparedness and response, including a clear budget line. He thanked the Government of Italy for its timely response to the WHO appeal.

For further information please contact:

Dr David Okello, WHO Representative /Kenya