The Kenyan Ministry of Health has announced that Global Fund has given the country the largest donation ever since 2002 to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
Global Fund is a global partnership that is accelerating the end of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria as epidemics. Global Fund mobilizes and invests more than $4 billion annually in over 100 countries to support programmes run by local experts.
Kenyan Health Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki, told the Star of Kenya that the fund was an outcome of intense lobbying at the Sixth Global Fund Replenishment Conference held at Lyon, France in October 2019.
At the Conference, world leaders pledged to step up the global fight against HIV/AIDS with $14 billion for the next three years.
The amount – Sh42 billion – is to be spent for three years from 2021-2024 to support the programme targeting the three diseases -HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis – in Kenya.
It is the largest amount that will be received by Kenya from Global Fund, representing a 17% increase over that of the year 2017-2021, which was Sh38 billion, Kariuki said.
Head of Kenya Aids Treatment Access Movement (Ketam) James Kamau, noted that the donation represented a show of donor confidence in Kenya.
According to UNAIDS, in 2018, 1 600 000 people were living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya and there were 25,000 AIDS-related deaths.
The Tuberculosis (TB) prevalence rate in Kenya is out at 558 per 100,000 population, according to the Kenyan National Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey report that was released in 2017. The study noted that TB cases had been underestimated in the country and half of those who fall ill with the disease were missed.
About 70% of the approximately 51 million population of Kenya is at risk of malaria. Transmission of malaria in Kenya is region-specific and so the East Africa country has regional preventive strategies to combat malaria.
“In Kenya, there are an estimated 3.5 million new clinical cases and 10,700 deaths each year, and those living in western Kenya have an especially high risk of malaria.”Source: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
It is hoped that with the new fund to be injected into the Kenyan health system, efforts to change the statistics above for the better will be stepped up in order to improve the lives of the people.