India Gifts Kenya Prohibited Covid-19 Drug

  • A medical personnel holding a Covid-19 virus test kit.
    File image of a Covid-19 testing kit.
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  • Following bilateral talks between India and Kenya, the country was on Wednesday, April 29, gifted a batch of the prohibited Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate drug used to treat Covid-19. 

    The Kenyan government banned over-the-counter sale of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine without valid prescription after Kenyans started stockpiling the drugs.

    The Indian High Commission in Kenya confirmed the donation after talks between the Foreign Affairs heads of the two nations.

    Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo
    Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Lower Kabete in Kiambu For a Consultative Devolution meeting. Thursday, February 20, 2020
    Simon Kiragu

    "Following the telephonic conversation between Indian’s External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar and Foreign Affairs CS Amb Raychelle Omamo, EGH, last week and in keeping with excellent bilateral ties, as a special gesture.

    "India has allowed one-time export of prohibited Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate USP 200 mg (379,000 tablets) to Kenya to support the Government of Kenya in its fight against COVID19 pandemic," read the statement in part.

    Hydroxychloroquine has been reported to be efficient in the treatment of Covid-19 by several countries including China and Turkey.

    Head of Infectious Diseases Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital, Loice Ombajo revealed that the government would only consider using chloroquine in severe cases of Covid-19.

    India also donated its second batch of HIV drugs to Kenya.

    "In addition, the second tranche of essential medicines (HIV medicines worth USD 1.54 million - about Ksh165 million) has also arrived in Nairobi, as a gift from Government of India

    "The first tranche of essential medicines, as part of India’s commitment to provide essential medicines to the people of Kenya, was delivered in July 2018," the statement reads.

    According to the National Aids Control Council, 1.6 million people in Kenya had HIV in 2018, which was 4.7% of the entire population down from 7.4% in 2004.

    "The Government of India has also committed to gift chlorine in the form of Calcium Hypochlorite (HTH) for water treatment as requested by the Government of Kenya," the Foreign Ministry's statement adds.

    As of Wednesday, April 29, Kenya had recorded 384 positive Covid-19 cases with 15 fatalities and 129 recoveries. 

    Medical practitioners at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Medical practitioners at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
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