Delegates during the opening of the integrated  HIV Service Delivery Integration summit in Mombasa.[Mercy Kahenda, Stndard]

Health Cabinet Secretary, Susan Nakhumicha has urged stakeholders in the HIV sector to back the transition from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to the Social Health Authority (SHA).

Ahead of the SHA membership registration drive launching Friday, Nakhumicha proposed aligning HIV responses with Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals.

Speaking at the HIV Service Delivery Integration summit in Mombasa, she emphasised maintaining HIV care within new financing discussions.

"It's crucial to restructure HIV responses to align with SHA operationalisation, including HIV prevention and control in primary healthcare," said Nakhumicha.

She encouraged Persons Living with HIV to enrol with SHA, stressing UHC's role in integrated healthcare services to combat HIV.

Nakhumicha advocated for increased funding through direct mechanisms like Government-to-Government partnerships to strengthen HIV management institutions.


Keep Reading

Under President William Ruto’s health reforms, she highlighted the need to transform HIV programs across all levels, particularly in counties, for efficiency and equity.

Integration of HIV services into broader chronic care models was urged to reduce stigma and improve service delivery.

Nakhumicha also promoted local pharmaceutical manufacturing to ensure HIV commodity security and sustainable growth.

 "Innovation and Digitisation under the Digital Health Act 2023 are pivotal for service access and efficiency," she added.

With Kenya having about 1.4 million Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV), Nakhumicha acknowledged progress in reducing infections and improving care access. Stigma remains a challenge affecting health outcomes.

Siaya County's success in lowering mother-to-child transmission rates was noted, achieved through strong partnerships.

 Dr Rose Wafula from the National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP) affirmed Kenya's path to end HIV/AIDS in children by 2027 through policy interventions.

 As Kenya targets HIV elimination by 2030, Nakhumicha affirmed efforts to align HIV responses with broader health reforms under the UHC agenda.

 Since its first HIV case in 1984, Kenya has strengthened healthcare systems and reduced infection rates with strategic frameworks and legislative support.

 Nakhumicha concluded, "We've come far in combating HIV, expanding service points nationwide."

 Kenya currently operates 8,851 HIV testing sites and 3,752 treatment sites, encompassing facilities supported by public, private, and faith-based organisations. The Ministry seeks sustainable funding models as donor support phases out to maintain progress in its HIV response.