'We simply couldn’t leave now': Irish couple choose to fight Covid-19 in Kenya

'We simply couldn’t leave now': Irish couple choose to fight Covid-19 in Kenya
Maria Kidney from Cork and her husband Martin Ballantyne from Sligo pictured in Kenya.

A couple from Ireland has chosen to remain in Kenya to support communities there in the fight against Covid-19.

Maria Kidney from Cork and her husband Martin Ballantyne from Sligo will stay and volunteer with the Kericho County emergency preparedness and response team. Maria is the director of Cork-based charity, Brighter Communities Worldwide while Martin is its CEO.

Martin and Maria will help to sensitise communities, provide PPE to the area and convert buildings into isolation wards. There is currently one ventilator per one million people in Kericho County, where the couple is based, and they are appealing for donations to provide essential equipment.

"In Kericho County, Kenya there are seven doctors for every 100,000 people. At the moment, we are struggling to even buy thermometers," Maria said.

"We understand that the world is in crisis, but for the developing world, basic needs aren’t being met even on a normal day, and now those basic needs are the difference between this crisis becoming a long-imbedded battle and flattening the curve. We need to eradicate this crisis across the world, and that includes the developing countries."

Maria has urged the Irish public to support those in need in developing countries.

"When we are in crisis it is not easy to think of others. We need the continued support of Irish generosity to continue our work. All monies raised will fund what is needed to protect these communities from COVID -19 including soap and water containers; training for health workers; communication materials; Personal Protection Equipment; preparation of health facilities and equipment.

“We have been here 18 years we simply couldn’t leave now, when the need is so great."

Donations can be made here.

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