By Mary Hearty

Kenya’s Ministry of Health received smart anti-epidemic robot technology from Japan to curb health workers exposure to COVID-19.

“We will be deploying these robots to Kenyatta National Hospital, and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where they will assist in temperature screening, disinfection, communication of health messages and data capture,” Mutahi Kagwe, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Health said.

The Cabinet Secretary was optimistic that of the robots’ ability to expedite traveler clearance at the airports since they can screen the temperature of up to 200 persons per minute.

“I have every confidence that all of our travelers especially the tourists visiting Kenya, will appreciate the ability of these robots,” Kagwe noted.

He said the three robots named Jasiri (Courageous), Shujaa (hero) and Tumaini (Hope) will help shore up COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Jasiri was named in honor of the courage it takes for our health workers to serve the nation while risking their own lives, whereas Shujaa represents not only the 32 health workers we have lost so far but also those of us that continue to heed the protective measures we propagate daily.

“If you have sacrificed visiting an elderly parent because you do not want to risk their life, you are a hero. Equally, if you have continued to wear a mask in public places, maintain social distance from others and sanitize, you are our hero,” Kagwe acknowledged.

“And as for Tumaini, he represents our hope that through our collective adherence to the rules and our inoculation against COVID-19, we shall overcome the pandemic and return to our preferred state of normalcy,” he added.

Kagwe accredited that this innovation was made possible as a result of collaborations with the Ministry of Health and ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Japanese Government.