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New camera to prevent COVID-19 spread excites African countries

African countries are excited as NEC Corporation recently announced a collaboration between NEC XON, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the United Nations programme that promotes better quality of life for all through sustainable urbanization, and Peace Winds Japan (PWJ), an NGO that provides emergency humanitarian assistance, reconstruction and development assistance.

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Together, the organizations are providing a thermography camera in the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement in Turkana County, Kenya, as part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The camera is used to measure the surface body temperature of refugees and local residents living in the district and to detect persons with elevated body temperatures, thereby helping to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

Through the provision of this camera, NEC will contribute to the achievement of Goal 3 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”

In northern Kenya, refugees have continued to flow in from neighboring countries, including South Sudan, for approximately thirty years, and it is difficult to predict if and when they will be able to return safely.

In response to this situation, UN-Habitat, with the support of the Government of Japan since 2016, has been working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Turkana County Government to develop the Kalobeyei Settlement, with a population of approximately 35,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers.

This settlement aims to become a sustainable residential area that promotes the economic independence of refugees and the social integration of refugees with local residents, rather than a conventional refugee camp that focuses only on refugees.

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Moreover, the PWJ is working in collaboration with United Nations agencies, such as UN-Habitat, to improve the living environment by constructing and repairing temporary housing, permanent housing, and sanitary facilities such as toilets.

Against this backdrop, the Government of Kenya banned large gatherings and closed schools in response to the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement was forced to close major facilities such as community centers, which had been used for events to build relationships among refugees, local residents, and stakeholders, as well as for vocational training.

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