Shipping & Logistics

Kenya urged to give truck drivers free Covid-19 jabs

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Kenya Transport Association COO Mercy Ireri. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA

The Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) has challenged the government to follow Uganda’s suit and give truck drivers free Covid-19 vaccinations regardless of their nationalities.

KTA Chief Operating Officer Mercy Ireri said giving free jabs to truck drivers will play a key role in removing the logistics hurdles which are being experienced currently.

Ms Ireri said since the start of the pandemic, truck drivers have continually served regional economies by delivering essential transportation services of medicines, food and other commodities even with the numerous challenges presented by Covid-19 protocols and risk to life.

“KTA takes this opportunity to thank Uganda government’s initiative to give free Covid-19 vaccination to truck drivers regardless of their nationality and age across the borders into Uganda. Our conversation with Port Health Uganda indicate that when 80 percent of drivers crossing the border are vaccinated, they may be a chance to stop Covid-19 testing of drivers crossing the borders,” she said.

“We hope the Kenyan government will soon prioritise and have enough vaccines for the Kenya long distance drivers who form the majority of drivers crossing into Uganda and other EAC region.”

In a statement addressed to Kenya’s Ministry of Health, Ms Ireri urged East African Community government to consider the drivers as essential and vulnerable group which needs to be vaccinated in this first phase.

“We appreciate the government’s efforts in ensuring the orderly vaccination of the most vulnerable sections of the society. We also understand that the total population cannot be vaccinated at the same time because of the current limited resources. It is our opinion that truck drivers, especially those travelling to other partner states be included in this group of the most exposed individuals to COVID-19 because of their interactions with various groups of people,” she said.