By Rose Njoki Koome
Meru National Polytechnic, one of the EASTRIP Regional Flagship Institutes based in Meru, Kenya, has produced a number of items to assist the country and the local community to respond to COVID-19 pandemic. The items produced by the institutes technical staff and students include face masks, hand sanitizers, hand washing soap which are used in preventing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Polytechnic is also closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation continues to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community. We are planning for several contingency scenarios and taking decisive, informed action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring the continuity of our teaching through E-Learning Platforms. The decision to transit to virtual learning until further notice aligns with our goal to reduce the number of interactions on the polytechnic, prevent transmission, and protect our community. We understand there are pedagogical, logistical, and technological challenges to these extraordinary measures. However, the Meru National Polytechnic management is effectively addressing the various emerging challenges staff members, students and partners are experiencing.
The Polytechnic remains open and operational with essential personnel reporting for duty daily with appropriate measures being taken to protect the health of the community. Lab access is permitted only for the most critical needs, including those who are working on research directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Environment and Social Safe Guard Department under the EASTRIP program has been tirelessly working on mass production of Sanitizers, Anti-Microbial Hand-Wash and Multi-Purpose Detergent. The Fashion and Design Section is also working on production of Face Masks.
Messages were sent to trainees and trainers urging them observe the set guidelines by the Public Health System. All personnel in the institution are staying safe by wearing Face Masks, sanitizing regularly and washing their hands. Hand Wash stations are strategically located while Sanitizers have been stationed in every office and service point. Face Masks are being distributed to all staff within the Polytechnic.
Supervisors in various departments are sensitizing the staff on the Ministry of Health Guidelines such as; social distancing, use of face coverings and other regulations put in place to ensure compliance of the Kenyan Government COVID-19 prevention measures. We will continue to update the Meru National Polytechnic community regularly to keep them informed of any additional measures. We believe that prevention is better than cure hence, we will do our best to ensure our trainees, staff, stakeholders, and the community at large stay safe.
The Writer is the Communication Officer for Meru Polytechnic College