Proparco grants Aga Khan Sh297m for oxygen supply


Aga Khan Hospital in Mombasa. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG

The Aga Khan hospitals in East Africa have received a €2.3 million (Sh297 million) grant from French development institution Proparco to boost oxygen supply at its facilities amid rising demand for the commodity.

The grant, the institution said, will benefit the Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi and the Aga Khan hospitals in Mombasa, Kisumu and Dar-es-Salaam including 94 outreach and medical centres of the Aga Khan Health Services in Kenya and Tanzania.

“The project will provide financial support to scale up oxygen supply and critical care capacity in Mombasa and Kisumu counties,” the parties said in a statement.

“It will also support the welfare funds run by the Aga Khan hospitals and outreach and medical centres that enable qualifying needy patients access to quality care at no cost.”

Kenya's demand for medical oxygen hit critical levels at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic with growing numbers of seriously ill patients needing assisted breathing.

Demand for the commodity more than doubled to 880 tonnes from 410 tonnes before the pandemic, the Ministry of Health said earlier, causing a steep shortage due to lack of installed capacity.

“Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, The Aga Khan Hospitals in East Africa have been at the forefront of the response, playing a primary role in supporting the testing, treatment and prevention of Covid-19, while also ensuring that our regular patients receive their routine care in a safe manner,” said Aga Khan University President Sulaiman Shahabuddin.

“The pandemic has however strained the healthcare infrastructure and especially critical care units and oxygen supply. This grant will go a long way in building capacity in these two areas and enable us to provide timely and quality care.”

The grant was backed by funds allocated to Proparco by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

The programme is designed to help health systems in developing and emerging countries better cope with the Covid-19 crisis.

“I am very happy to witness today yet another example of the fruitful cooperation between the AFD Group and the Aga Khan Development Network to build more inclusive and resilient health systems in Kenya and Tanzania,” said French Ambassador to Kenya Aline Kuster-Ménager in a statement.

Proparco is the private sector financing arm of the French fund Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

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