Patients in quarantine at the Kenyatta National Hospital’s (KNH) Infectious Diseases Unit at Mbagathi, Nairobi, will now find it easier to keep in touch with their loved ones and the outside world, after Telkom donated free 50 Mbps internet connectivity to the facility.
Psychology experts posit that social isolation is one of the most difficult experiences for human beings to endure. With COVID-19, quarantined patients are deprived of external social contact. This separation from family, friends and the life that they are used to, can exact an additional toll on their health beyond the physiological symptoms of the virus. The physical or virtual presence of family and friends constitutes an important source of psychological stability and overall therapy during quarantine.
Kris Senanu, Telkom Kenya’s MD for Enterprise Division, says: “Technology continues to play an integral part in the lives of Kenyans, more so now that it is enabling them to make the switch to conducting their affairs, virtually, from home: working from home, distance learning and even virtual socialisation. As a corporate citizen, we at Telkom chose to continue focusing our corporate social interventions on areas such as these, where our core service will have direct and immediate impact, during this time. “
Senanu adds: “Social isolation can be a very traumatic experience, with most patients already worried about the nature of the virus and the impact that it has had on their day to day lives. Family and friends are an important part of an individual’s social fabric; they also form part of one’s support system. The free connectivity at the Mbagathi IDU, therefore, will enable patients in quarantine, to have access to their family and friends, and hopefully help them cope better while undergoing treatment.”
With Kenya’s COVID-19 positive cases approaching the 400 mark, those charged with the responsibility of implementing national strategic interventions to curb the spread of the virus, will need access to assured connectivity. To this end, Telkom has also provisioned the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus, that is based at the Ministry of Health’s offices at Afya House, with free Internet connectivity, to support their work in the fight against the COVID-19pandemic in Kenya. The 200 Mbps link will also be used by the Ministry of Health’s offices at Afya House.
Senanu concludes: “As one of our key stakeholders, Telkom is always ready and willing to support the government in initiatives where technology can help expedite positive outcomes for Kenya. We believe providing the Ministry of Health and the COVID-19 response committee with access to reliable connectivity, will add more impetus to the efforts and strategies that they are putting in place to fight the virus.”
Telkom and its partner Loon recently announced that a larger fleet of balloons is heading to Kenya, to join the balloons that are already active and part of a network integration exercise in Kenyan airspace, in readiness for deployment of the Loon service in the country. The Loon service, will seek to use its 4G/LTE Internet solution to connect unserved and under-served communities in Kenya. Initial coverage areas have already been identified, starting with Nairobi, Machakos, Nyeri, Nakuru, Kitui, Nanyuki, Narok and into Kisii. Telkom and Loon will thereafter work to expedite service deployment, progressively, to other areas, to support the Kenya Government’s efforts to address and manage the spread of COVID-19 in the country.