U.S. Embassy Nairobi today donated 1,000 facemasks to Kenyan journalists and media houses as part of ongoing measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. The U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter presented the donations to officials from the Kenya Editors’ Guild (KEG), the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ), and the Media Council of Kenya (MCK). This donation, funded by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and U.S. Embassy Nairobi, is the latest demonstration of USA Marafiki and the long-standing commitment of the United States to help Kenya preserve and maintain public health.
“Kenyan journalists and media professionals the world over play a key role in informing and updating us on the coronavirus pandemic. They go to great lengths, risking their health to gather the data and stories to inform the Kenyan people of the pandemic. We are proud today to help protect journalists, the fourth pillar of a strong democracy, and help flatten the curve,” said Ambassador McCarter.
Each of the locally produced USA Marafiki facemasks comes in packaging printed with public health information to help educate Kenyans about how to protect themselves from COVID-19. Made in Kenya, by Kenyans, the donation also supports the Kenyan economy in this time of economic hardship through the creation of jobs. The United States will continue to look for ways to support Kenyan solutions to the pandemic, as well as protect Kenyan jobs alongside the health of the Kenyan people.
Ambassador McCarter asked KEG, KUJ, and the MCK to distribute the facemasks to journalists and correspondents across the country.
“We have more than 166 vernacular radio channels employing more than 600 journalists across the country. We will make sure the facemasks reach the county-based journalists and correspondents,” said Eric Oduor, KUJ Secretary General of the Kenya Union of Journalists.
“This donation will go a long way in increasing the confidence of our journalists to cover the coronavirus pandemic because journalists will go out there knowing that they are protected from contracting the virus. We thank and appreciate the U.S. Embassy for the donation and for constantly thinking about Kenyan journalists,” said Churchill Otieno, KEG President.