KNA Residents of Subukia Sub-County have petitioned the government to approve more proposals by Universities and research institutions to facilitate the fight against Covid-19.
David Kabau, a pharmacist at Kabazi Trading Center within Subukia Sub-County said though many Kenyan public and private institutions have professionals in many areas who had the capacity to develop innovative products that can greatly contribute to the fight against Covid-19, underfunding had hampered research.
Speaking to Kenya News Agency during the ongoing national COVID-19 community sensitization program, Kabau said the state through the National Research Fund (NRF) should prioritize financing research on the pandemic, as it threatened lives, national economy and household incomes.
“The pandemic should not be treated as a new normal disease that is with us. There has to be no slowing down in exploring ways of tackling Covid-19 scientifically. Local researchers are better placed to come up with home grown solutions if they are facilitated to undertake studies.
Researchers should therefore channel more efforts towards developing homegrown vaccines,” he added.
The week long community sensitization program is organized by the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs, the office of the government spokesman and the department of public health.
In April this year, one private university and six public institutions of higher learning had their Covid-19 research proposals approved by the Government for funding.
The National Research Fund (NRF) approved research proposals from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), University of Nairobi (UoN), Egerton University, Pwani University, Multimedia University and Kenyatta University (KU).
Among the private universities, only Mount Kenya University (MKU) had its proposal approved. The Institute of Primate Research and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) also had their proposals approved.
In total, under Covid-19 research alone, only 13 proposals were approved out of 350 requests.
At View point Trading Center, James Mathenge, a curios dealer expressed concern that politicians were the weakest link in the fight against Covid-19.
“After public rallies were banned, politicians adopted a reckless strategy of attending burials, weddings and other ceremonies where they attract crowds.
Chiefs and their assistants should rein in errant politicians because police cannot be everywhere,|” he indicated
At Bahati Center, Faith Wanyoike, a tailor challenged youth to come up with innovative ways and initiate income generating projects based on opportunities presented by the pandemic.
“There are so many opportunities that have been presented by Covid-19, such as manufacture of masks
There are also online jobs for our youth since many companies have adopted a work from home strategy,” Ms. Wanyoike pointed out.