Kenya’s Ministry of Health says through the newly launched smart anti-epidemic robot technology to support frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19.
The technology is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Japanese Government
Named Tumaini, Jasiri and Shujaa, the Minister of Health, Mutahi Kagwe said
“They will assist in temperature screening, disinfection, communication of health messages and data capture.”
They will be deployed to the Kenyatta National Hospital and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Kagwe said the robots would fast track traveler clearance at airports since they have the capacity of screening the body temperature of up to 200 persons at the airport per minute.
“I have every confidence that all of our travelers, foremost the tourists visiting Kenya, will appreciate the ability of these robots,” said Kagwe.
Jasiri was named in honour of the courage that health workers have shown in serving populations while risking their lives.
Shujaa represents 32 health workers who have since died from the pandemic and those that continue to heed protective measures put in place by the government.
“As for Tumaini, he represents our hope – our collective hope that through our continued adherence to the rules and our inoculation against COVID-19, we shall overcome the pandemic and return to our preferred state of normalcy,” said Kagwe.
UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the generous support of the Government of Japan will deploy three smart anti-epidemic robot solutions to support frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19 @Walidbadawi #RoboRafiki #BuildForwardBetter pic.twitter.com/CIE9d5Ugpx
— UNDP Kenya (@UNDPKenya) January 22, 2021
The Aimbots are made by a Shenzhen based Chinese company called UBTECH. The robots can measure the temperature of 10 to 100 people per minute at a distance of 2.5m to 3.5m. They can disinfect a contaminated area. They perform temperature checks on individuals.
To date, 3,000 healthcare workers have been infected by COVID-19 in the line of duty while 32 have succumbed to the disease, according to the ministry of health.
Present during the launch was the Japanese Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Mr. Ryoichi Horie, UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Walid Badawi and Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi among others.