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Kenya gets Sh7bn from Global Fund

COUNTIES
By GATONYE GATHURA | January 14th 2014

 By GATONYE GATHURA

Kenya will receive $79.7million (Sh6.8 billion) from the Global Fund for the purchase of new bed nets, malaria medicines and testing kits.

Kenya’s request for the money was approved last month by the fund’s management board for the purchase and distribution of 7.5 million new long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, 17.2 million courses of medicines and 21.8 million rapid diagnostic test kits.

Among 13 countries whose applications were approved, Kenya got the largest portion followed by Somalia, Vietnam and Tanzania, with the latter getting funding for HIV activities.

The funding comes at a time when ownership of nets in the country is on the decline.

According to the national malaria indicator survey released in 2011, household net ownership has declined significantly since 2007.

“The reduction in household net ownership may be due to the absence of a major net distribution campaign since the mass distribution in 2006,” says the study.

The money also comes at a time the Global Fund has suspended contracts with two of the world’s biggest suppliers of mosquito nets for what it called “serious financial wrongdoing in Cambodia”.

In November, the fund said it had found evidence that net suppliers Vestergaard Frandsen and Sumitomo Chemical had paid commissions to two Cambodian officials totalling approximately $410,000 (Sh35.2 million) in return for awarding contracts for insecticide-treated nets.

Sumitomo are the suppliers of the Olyset brand of nets while Vestergaard Frandsen distributes PermaNet, both of which are common in Kenya.

Contacted by The Standard on how this suspension could affect local distribution, Vestergaard said they were co-operating with Global Fund and hoped the issue would be sorted out quickly.

Sumitomo, however, did not respond to our enquires but a communication from Global Fund indicated both companies were co-operating well.

In the past year, Kenya seems to have scored well with the fund. 

“We don’t anticipate any serious divergence from the current trends, which means more funds will definitely be approved,” said John Ochero, the fund’s senior portfolio manager for Kenya in an earlier interview.


 

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