Thousands of Free EPZ Masks Delayed Over Quality Issues

  • An image of Shona
    Cabinet Secretary of Trade, Betty Maina (in a hat) displaying Personal Protective Equipment at Shona EPZ Limited on Saturday, April 11 2020.
    Twitter
  • Ministry of Health, Director of Nursing Services Mary Nandili on Tuesday, April 14, revealed that facemasks being produced at the Export Processing Zone in Athi River were not ready to be distributed to the public.

    Shona EPZ Limited, is one of the three factories in the county producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to help protect Kenyans against Covid-19.

    The factory produces around 20,000 facemasks, aprons and protective shoes in a day with an ability to double the output.

    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at the Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke

    Nandili revealed that the facemasks being produced in the factory have a slight hitch, "We are happy with what they have done but the only gap is there is slight penetration of water.

    "The PPEs are supposed to be used by our healthcare workers to protect themselves from contracting infections and to protect the public from also contracting the disease.

    "We have seen there is excellent work going on at EPZ although there is a slight gap which we have noticed as a team of experts, and we have asked them to rectify what we have observed.

    Isaac Maluki, Director of Shona EPZ stated that production would be increased once necessary approvals from the government were secured.

    “Currently we are making for testing so that they can get approved and once they are approved then we will go into bulk production," he stated.

    The government enforced a law that made it mandatory for Kenyans to wear masks whenever they are in public places.

    The government gazetted hefty penalties including a fine of Ksh20,000 or six months’ imprisonment or both for anyone found breaking the directive.

    Nurses around the country have complained of a lack of enough PPEs and have threatened to down their tools on a number of occasions.

    According to the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (Kuco), the number of clinical officers who have been infected with Covid-19 rose to six as of Saturday, April 11. 

    A medical practitioner has her name written on the protective gear at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    A medical practitioner has her name written on the protective gear at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    KENYANS.CO.KE