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Friday July 24, 2020 – American philanthropist and wife of billionaire Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, has made a solemn promise to President Uhuru Kenyatta with regard to the development of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Speaking yesterday during a virtual meeting with the President, the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation assured the Head of State that her organization will ensure frontline health workers all over the world including Kenya will be among the first to receive the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

Melinda further commended Kenya’s Covid-19 response strategy noting that it was geared to helping women and girls cope with the social and economic challenges posed by the pandemic.

The philanthropist added that her foundation supported measures being taken by Kenya to tame the rising cases of violence against women and teenage pregnancies during the current health crisis.

The foundation is one of Kenya’s largest development partners in the health sector, injecting over Ksh9 billion annually into the country’s primary healthcare covering sectors such as family planning, HIV/AIDS research, maternal and child health, and nutrition.

In June 2020, the organization committed Ksh10 billion to Gavi, the Global Vaccine Alliance, in supporting the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines for low-income countries through a new Covid-19 Vaccine Advance Market Commitment. 

Speaking on the availability of the vaccine on the foundation’s website, Bill Gates noted that a global agreement will be ideal on who should get the vaccine first.

“Given how many competing interests there are, this is unlikely to happen.”

“The Governments that provide the funding, the countries where the trials are run, and the places where the pandemic is the worst will all make a case that they should get priority,” Gates observed.


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