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Mt Kenya politicians urged to be united ahead of 2022 polls

He further called on Mt Kenya Senators to be cautious on revenue sharing citing that a win for Mt Kenya counties does not mean a win for communities living in the region.

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Subukia parliamentary aspirant Simon Ngugi

Politicians from the Mt Kenya region have been urged to remain united as they strategize on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s succession.

This follows a meeting by leaders from the region convened at a Murang’a hotel by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho on the weekend.

Subukia parliamentary aspirant Simon Ngugi urged the politicians not to gamble with the choice they make on Uhuru’s succession saying this will have a major impact on the region’s development.

Ngugi who addressed the press in Nakuru urged the leaders to align the region with a candidate whom they are assured of support once they get elected.

“Any miscalculation might land the region in the opposition thereby denying it the power to lobby for national government projects. Our leaders must be cautious and with our interests at heart,” said Ngugi.

Deputy President William Ruto is among the presidential hopefuls who have managed to make inroads in the Mt Kenya region.

This has, however, come with opposition from a section of Mt Kenya leaders-Kieleweke faction who do not back his presidential bid.

“Ruto remains a formidable force and a candidate with a head start in acceptance across all regions in the country as President Uhuru’s successor,” he said.

Ngugi faulted the leaders who met on Friday for attempting to put conditions on Ruto for the region to back him saying that it was already late.

“Ruto has already won the hearts of Mt Kenya people who do not need coercion to maintain or change their stand. They should be negotiating to have a bigger say in his government should he win the polls,” said Ngugi.

He further called on Mt Kenya Senators to be cautious on revenue sharing citing that a win for Mt Kenya counties does not mean a win for communities living in the region.

“According to 2019 census, Mt Kenya communities have the highest population. It should however be noted that most of them live outside Central Kenya. Disadvantaging other counties will be disadvantaging their own people living outside the region,” said Ngugi.

He urged them to focus on delivering the Jubilee manifesto-Big Four Agenda saying that continued politicking had derailed the dream.

Ngugi noted that a considerable number of Kenyans are yet to get connected to water and electricity despite promises by the government to connect all households before the next general elections.

He singled out Subukia as one of the marginalized areas on development projects under national government despite it being inhabited by communities from the Mt Kenya region.

On this, he urged the legislators to ensure counties such as Nakuru and Laikipia which are inhabited by Mt Kenya communities but fall outside the Mt Kenya region benefit from the national cake.

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  • Subukia parliamentary aspirant Simon Ngugi addressing the press at a Nakuru hotel on September 23, 2020. Photo: Courtesy.

  • Subukia parliamentary aspirant Simon Ngugi addressing the press on September 23, 2020 at a Nakuru hotel. Photo: Courtesy.

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National

Equity Afia opens second clinic in Murang’a

Other than offering treatment, Equity Afia as a franchise has invested in preventative healthcare by offering clients and the general public advisory services and creating time and resources for community health development programmes such as medical camps and the training of various groups such as teachers, child care givers and corporate institutions among others.

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Equity Group Board Chairman Prof.Isaac Macharia (left) cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of Equity Afia Murang'a Medical centre.Looking on is Equity Group Foundation General Manager Health Gilbert Muriithi (2nd left), Equity Afia Murang'a Consultant in charge Dr.Amos Wairegi(2nd right) and Equity Group Foundation Executive Director Reuben Mbindu(right).PHOTO/Courtesy.

Equity Afia, the medical franchise of Equity Group Foundation (EGF) has opened a new medical centre in Muranga County, bringing the total number of outlets within its concession to 36.

This will be the second clinic in Muranga county after Equity Afia Kenol that will serve residents from Muranga and its surrounding environs.

The new medical centre which is located at ECN Building along Uhuru Street and managed by a qualified Consultant In-charge will offer residents a wide range of quality and affordable healthcare services including but not limited to; general consultation, dental services, optical services, dermatological services, paediatric services, nutrition services, specialised care in obstetrics and gynaecology and wellness services.

Speaking during the opening of the facility, Equity Group Board Chairman Professor Isaac Macharia noted that the opening of the Muranga franchise is part of a larger strategic plan that will see Equity Afia provide easy access to quality healthcare in the country.

“The Equity Afia network of clinics have been established with the sole purpose of taking healthcare services to the doorsteps of Kenyans. Equity Afia is offering quality care at affordable costs making it easy for you and me to see a doctor, get tests done and get treatment without having to travel far,” said Professor Macharia.

“EGF’s vision is to transform lives and livelihoods through its various social impact programmes. We understand that the cost of seeking treatment in Kenya and across the globe can be quite high thus affecting household incomes in many homes. With Equity Afia, more Kenyans will have access to affordable treatment whether they are paying for services using NHIF, other private insurances or from their pockets.” added Professor Macharia.

The Equity Afia franchise of medical centres have been established by alumni of the Equity Leaders Program (ELP) who have trained in the medical field and use the program to inspire each other, share ideas on how to grow and improve the franchise but most of all contribute to giving back to society by offering their skills and knowledge for the greater good of the community.

Other than offering treatment, Equity Afia as a franchise has invested in preventative healthcare by offering clients and the general public advisory services and creating time and resources for community health development programmes such as medical camps and the training of various groups such as teachers, child care givers and corporate institutions among others.

Equity Afia is now closer to the people of Muranga and we commit to offer best of class services and at affordable costs thus promoting a positive health seeking behaviour amongst the population. We are open Monday to Saturday and we look forward to becoming your caring health partner.” said Dr. Amos Wairegi, Consultant In-charge Equity Afia Muranga.

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COVID-19

KMTC final year students receive PPEs

The Kenya COVID- 19 Fund Board and Equity Group Foundation continue to support 56 Public Hospitals in all 47 counties together with finalist students in 11 medical and dental training institutions in their efforts to ensure that healthcare workers are safeguarded as they provide frontline care and work round the clock to mitigate the health effects of the pandemic.

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Equity Group CEO Polycarp Igathe(left)and secretary of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board Principal Administrative Secretary Kennedy Kihara (centre) hand over PPEs to Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) CEO Prof Michael Kiptoo (right).PHOTO/Courtesy.

8,292 final year medical students studying in various disciplines including nursing, clinical medicine, pharmacy, laboratory medicine, orthopaedic technology, physiotherapy, medical imaging and oral health among others, have today received 500,000 medical grade surgical masks valued at Ksh 2.5 million from Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board.

The surgical masks are to facilitate the students who are scheduled to sit for final year qualifying examinations this February across 71 KMTC training centres in Kenya.

The donation is part of Equity Group Foundation’s and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board’s sustained efforts to offer frontline healthcare workers PPEs and psychosocial support.

Speaking during the official handover event, Polycarp Igathe, Equity Group Chief Commercial Officer noted that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve with the world now reporting new variants of the diseases across various regions therefore calling for adaptability and agility in frontline response.

He reiterated Equity Group’s commitment to safeguard healthcare workers serving in the frontline and appreciated their efforts in containing the pandemic within the country.

“It is now almost a year since Kenya reported its first COVID-19 case. Although it may seem that things are normalising, the numbers have been steadily rising and many Kenyans have unfortunately lost their lives including our very own frontline heroes, serving Kenyans in our medical facilities. The market will in the next few weeks receive these medical students for internship and employment opportunities and as EGF and the COVID-19 Fund Board, we saw it fit to support these bright and dedicated students as they complete the final year of their academic journey and perform their noble duties. The surgical masks donated today will go a long in alleviating their mental worry and stress regarding risk of exposure.” said Polycarp.

The Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board and Equity Group Foundation has for the past eight months embarked on an initiative to support frontline health workers in public hospitals with PPEs as well as establish a vibrant psychosocial support and mental wellness programme.

Commenting on this, Principal Administrative Secretary Office of the President Kennedy Kihara who is the Secretary of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board said, “As a Fund, we have been tasked with the noble mandate to fundraise and effectively utilize the funds that Kenyans are giving us towards cushioning citizens and the country from the adverse effects of COVID-19. We are delighted to partner with Equity in the health response and in boosting the confidence of our healthcare workers by availing PPEs in a timely manner. We urge all the beneficiaries of these PPEs to make effective use of them and to be good stewards of the resources allocated to them.”

While receiving the surgical masks, KMTC CEO, Prof. Micheal Kiptoo, “We are extremely humbled that Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board thought about our medical students and saw it fit to equip them with protective gear. We need all hands-on deck to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and our students are an important resource who are complementing the service of their senior colleagues in practice. This pandemic continues to affect all Kenyans irrespective of their background and we welcome other corporates to join in this worthy cause.”

KMTC, Clinical Medicine Students Representative Asher Otiende, lauded the efforts of the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board and Equity Group Foundation noting, “Despite taking a long academic break, we are excited to finally enter the final part of our medical course. The surgical masks issued today will help us finish our clinical exams well and will offer the much-needed protection as we execute our duties. We sincerely appreciate Equity Group Foundation and the Kenya COVID-19 Fund Board for thinking about us and for prioritising our safety.”

The Kenya COVID- 19 Fund Board and Equity Group Foundation continue to support 56 Public Hospitals in all 47 counties together with finalist students in 11 medical and dental training institutions in their efforts to ensure that healthcare workers are safeguarded as they provide frontline care and work round the clock to mitigate the health effects of the pandemic.

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Equity’s tech-led innovations ranked among top for best user experience

Digital banking adoption was heightened by the raft of measures put forward by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in consultation with KBA, in facilitating the increased use of mobile money instead of physical cash.

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Kenya Bankers Association CEO Dr.Habil Olaka(left) presents the customer satisfaction survey 2020 certificate to Equity Customer care Manager Susan Wakonyo Ng'ang'a(right). PHOTO/Courtesy.

A new customer survey conducted by Kenya Bankers’ Association (KBA) has ranked Equity Bank among the top three Tier I banks based on digital user experience analysis.

The Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey 2020 sampled a total of 13,774 respondents and ranked various banks based on the quality of their Digital Banking offering (Mobile and Internet Banking) as well as overall innovativeness in this realm.

The KBA survey targeted customers across all the banks where they filled out a structured questionnaire on services received.

According to the survey, most respondents indicated having had a good experience with Mobile Banking applications, singling out effective aesthetics.

73 per cent of the respondents that mentioned feature characteristics, cited convenience and e­fficiency as their main features of interest, with ease of usage and friendliness of user interfaces being the other critical factors.

The KBA report has been released at a time when the country is still facing the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged the economy due to business slowdown, curfew and breakdown of the global supply chain.

In its release of the Q3 2020 results, Equity reported that its business model has migrated from being based on fixed cost channels to digital self-service and third-party variable cost channels.

The business is transforming from a ‘place you go’ to ‘what you do’ on devices, removing and compressing time and geography thus making its business 24-hours, whatever time, wherever you are.

For the first time, the digital bank overtook the legacy bank in both the number of transactions and value of transactions handled on a daily basis. Online banking products and services experienced the greatest growth with digital transaction values growing by 34%.

Customer engagement increased as reflected by the 45% growth in their deposits for the Q3 2020 period.

Digital banking adoption was heightened by the raft of measures put forward by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in consultation with KBA, in facilitating the increased use of mobile money instead of physical cash.

CBK also advocated for digital banking as a way of decongesting bank branches to reduce COVID-19 spread while increasing its surveillance against fraud.

Equity’s Fintech Innovation and Digitisation has enabled at least 98% transactions to take place outside the bank with at least 83% taking place in Mobile and Internet Banking platforms.

In addition, 59% of Equity’s transaction value took place outside the branches with Mobile and Internet banking taking a 33% chunk of the total value.

The digitisation of the bank’s services has increased efficiency and cost optimization gains ensuring that customers can be able to enjoy their services from the comfort of their homes/workplaces.

Under the Eazzy Banking suite, Equity customers conveniently access banking through the mobile App, or online through their computers.

Customers with feature phones can still enjoy mobile banking services under Equity’s MVNO, Equitel or by dialling *247# on their mobile phone.

Moreover, the limited handling of physical cash has in turn reduced the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus for digital banking customers.

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