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Facebook, Kenyan Government Partner to Combat Coronavirus

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Facebook
has announced its partnership with the Kenyan government to keep Kenyans safe
and informed about covid-19 through updates on its platform.  

The
American tech giant is enabling educational pop-ups on search results around
the virus on all its platforms, the company is also providing the Ministry of
Health with free ad credits to enable them run coronavirus education campaigns
on its platforms. 

In
collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Facebook will soon be launching a
WhatsApp Business API, a dedicated coronavirus hotline – 0110-719719. The
Coronavirus hotline is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will enable Kenyans
to get answers to the most common questions about Coronavirus from the Ministry
of Health 24 hours a day.

See: Hold 4G for Now, Mr President, and Sort Most Urgent Things

The
service will also provide information on topics such as Coronavirus prevention
and symptoms, the latest number of cases in the country, advice on staying at
home, travel advisory and mythbusting. The service will also enable the
Ministry of Health to send urgent messages to all Kenyans who will opt-in for
the service.

Included
in its ongoing efforts, and in collaboration with the Ministry of ICT, the
Ministry of Health and the Office of the Government spokesperson, Facebook has
also trained government officials on the best practices of using Facebook tools
to educate Kenyans on the government’s efforts around covid-19.

Facebook
Head of Public Policy for East Africa, Mercy Ndegwa, said: “Covid-19 has
presented immense challenges that require concerted efforts from governments,
technology companies, and civil society. We are committed to working with all
relevant bodies, both locally and globally to respond to this ever evolving
situation. As always, we encourage all users to check the facts via official
public health agencies before sharing messages that have been forwarded to
them, and to engage directly with trusted and official sources for important
information.”

Kenya
Government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said, “As a government, we are deploying
both traditional and digital communications tools to disseminate trusted
information about this virus. We welcome Facebook’s partnership in helping to
reach and interact with a wider segment of the population, so we can share the
facts and provide accurate advice.” 

Other ways
in which Facebook is helping to keep people safe and informed through local and
global partnerships, as well as updates to its platform, include:

Supporting
Health Agencies- Facebook continues to partner with organizations like health
agencies and NGOs who are actively using its platforms to share accurate
information about the situation, including on Pages.

Read: Questionably Wealthy Kenyans Hiding Ksh6 Trillion Abroad

Supporting
global health organisations in fundraising – As people come together on
Facebook for this critical relief effort, Facebook is supporting the UNF/WHO
COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund Facebook Fundraiser with $10M in matching
donations. Facebook is also working with the CDC Foundation to launch a
Facebook Fundraiser in the coming weeks which will also match up to US$10M.

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Limiting misinformation and
harmful content

– Facebook’s global network of third-party fact-checkers are continuing their
work of reviewing content and debunking false claims that are spreading rumours
related to coronavirus. In Kenya this includes local partners AFP, Africa Check
and Pesa Check, with local language Swahili, also supported through our
partnership with Africa Check.

Removing Harmful Health Misinformation: Facebook is actively removing content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them. Facebook is doing this as an extension of existing policies to remove content that could cause physical harm. It is focusing on claims that are designed to discourage treatment or taking appropriate precautions. This includes claims related to false cures or prevention methods — like drinking bleach cures the coronavirus — or claims that create confusion about health resources that are available. Facebook is also blocking or restricting hashtags used to spread misinformation on Instagram and is conducting proactive sweeps to find and remove as much of this content as possible.

Creation of the Business
Resource Hub

– Facebook is supporting businesses being affected – directly or indirectly –
by the recent outbreak of covid-19. The Hub features resources and
recommendations to help small businesses stay connected to customers and keep
their business on track. It also includes quick and easy access to credible and
accurate information about covid-19 to help small businesses and the
communities they serve stay informed.

US$100 million investment for SMBs -Facebook has heard loud and clear that financial support could enable SMB’s to keep the lights on and pay people who can’t come to work. That’s why Facebook recently announced that it is investing $100 million to help 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries where their employees live and work.

Free Access to Workplace Advanced: It’s more important than ever that people in critical roles are able to focus on their most impactful work. With this in mind, Facebook is giving all emergency service providers and government organizations around the world free access to Workplace Advanced for one year, subject to local legal and compliance checks.

Read >> How to Choose a Reliable Online Money Transfer Service

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ONE ON ONE: Breeder LW opens up about his musical journey, the Gengetone wave and future projects

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I’m a big fan of Breeder LW. In my opinion, he is one of the fastest rising rappers in Kenya. His approach to music is very unique and the chances that you’ll love his songs the first time you listen to them are very high.

Also read: Breeder LW, a musical genius who is pushing the limits

I have always wanted to interview him so I reached out about a fortnight ago and he was kind enough to return my phone call.

Breeder LW

We spoke about a number of things including; his musical journey, the Gengetone wave, influences, future projects and whatnot.

You should have seen the shock on my face when I learnt that he has been doing music since 2013. The reason I was taken aback was because most people came to know him after he featured on Khali Cartel 3 in 2019.

Breeder also shared his thoughts on the Gengetone wave. People have been saying that the sound – which has ruled the airwaves  for the last two years – became boring and it’s now a thing of the past.

Breeder LW

Breeder LW

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However, Breeder does not share these sentiments. According to him, the sound is alive and what’s happening is that it’s evolving and during this phase some artists will be phased out while others will continue to shine.

I also asked the Inde hitmaker if he has ever considered joining a group and he told me that he was in a duo when he was starting off but it’s not something he would consider at the moment because it would limit him.

I am sure you are pondering how he got to feature on Khaligraph Jones’ Khali Cartel 3, the song that introduced him to Kenyans, and apparently, they met in 2019 and he promised to work with him in future.

Listen to the interview below.


in Interviews

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Number of medics infected with Covid-19 rises to 54 cases

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health care worker who have tested positive for covid-19

The number of health workers who have tested positive for Coronavirus in the country has risen to 54.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Acting director-general for Health Dr. Patrick Amoth said Thursday that the toll represents 3.5% of the total infections in the country.

Gladly, no fatality has been recorded among the health care workers in the country.

On his part, health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe urged health workers to prioritize their own health and safety, even as they attend to Covid-19 patients.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

He also praised them for being on the front line in fighting the virus.

Kagwe pledged more government support to improve their welfare during this pandemic period.

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At the same time, Kiambu governor James Nyoro called for the recruitment of more health workers to help boost efforts in addressing the Coronavirus pandemic at the county level.

Kagwe says the government is on course to ensure that the country achieves the envisaged Universal Health Coverage goal.

The Cabinet Secretary who spoke in Kiambu County said that the government is intent on making health more accessible to all by putting in place measures that make healthcare affordable.

Universal health coverage is a healthcare system in which all residents of a particular country or region are assured of access to healthcare.

UHC answers to Sustainable Development Goal number three which is Good Health and Well-being.

The CS called on Kenyans to register for the National Health Insurance Fund noting that it is through contribution to the fund that the government can ensure accessible healthcare to all.

Also read https://www.kbc.co.ke/kenyas-covid-19-cases-test-positive/

 

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At the End of June, It Will Be Life Support for Kenyan SMEs

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Seventy-five (75%) percent of Kenyan Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will be running the risk of collapsing at the end of June as COVID-19 continues to ravage the business entities that form the bedrock of the country’s economy.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge in a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) virtual briefing on Thursday expressed concern that three-quarters of small and medium Kenyan businesses do not have the wherewithal to withstand the pandemic stressing the urgent need for a formula to stop their imminent death.

According to Dr Njoroge, a survey conducted by the monetary policy regulator in April shows that SMEs are running on empty, struggling to sustain operations including paying suppliers.

“Whatever policy action put in place to help MSMEs needs to go beyond finance, into finance plus, including linkages to other markets, ” said Dr. Njoroge.

The CBK Governor also called on Kenyans not to hesitate sharing the challenges they are facing while servicing their loans adding that the regulator is working with banks to make sure that borrowers get the relief they need to to overcome the crisis.

As part of the measures to support businesses, Njoroge said, Kenyans should be ready to explain the challenges they are experiencing with their banks while servicing loans.

Thursday’s briefing was a follow up of a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decision to maintain the base lending rate at 7.00%.

Worrying Times

SMEs form the cream of Kenya’s economy constituting 98% of all businesses in the country according to CBK statistics.

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Conversely, this boards gloom for the SMEs which employ approximately 14.9 million Kenyans.

As it stands, SMEs have already taken a beating from the restriction of movement within and outside the country compounded by the widespread loss of jobs in the country.

In the same vein, another survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that a third of Kenyans are struggling to pay rent over the pandemic.

The survey dubbed Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Households Report, 30.5 percent of households were unable to pay rent on the agreed date in April citing reduced income.

All these factors combined are piling pressure on the government to reopen the economy to cushion Kenyans who are struggling to sustain their livelihoods without a source of income.

See Also>>> House Prices Dip For Fifth Consecutive Quarter

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