Kenya to donate Sh500m to global fund to fight HIV, TB and malaria

Residents of Kapkoi, Burnt Forest in Uasin Gishu County receive medical equipment worth over Sh1 million. [PHOTO: PETER OCHIENG/STANDARD]
NAIROBI: Kenya will donate Sh500 million towards the Global Fund kitty to fight HIV and Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.

According to State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu President Uhuru Kenyatta will announce the donation during the 5th Global Fund Replenishment Conference to be held in Montreal, Canada, on September 16 and 17.

Mr Esipisu said Uhuru had been invited by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau whose country will also be pledging Sh78.5 billion towards the fund.

HOST SUMMIT

And the President will tomorrow host the Health Summit at State House to deliberate on the status of the health sector. The conference seeks to raise Sh130 billion, which is expected to go towards saving eight million lives and averting up to 300 million new infections of the three diseases.

Kenya is not only one of the biggest donors in the region but also a recipient. Over the last two years, Kenya has benefited from more than Sh27 billion from the fund.

“It is these funds that have seen Kenya improve in its diagnosis and treatment of 1.2 million TB patients and trained 16,837 specialists on malaria management” said Esipisu.

He said from the fund, the Government had also been able to distribute 27.6 million free malaria doses as well HIV and Aids antiretroviral drugs.

“Kenya is among the top countries that benefit from the multi-billionshilling fund, and we look forward to reporting on the measures taken to fight the three diseases,” said Esipisu.

Tomorrow’s summit will bring together all stakeholders - from the public and private sectors - to discuss the milestones as well as the challenges facing health in the country.

“We hope to bring on board things that the Government is doing, has done and will do to improve the lives of Kenyans in a robust and candid discussion,” Esipisu said.

Among the discussions will be the success of the managed equipment services programme, which is said to have drastically improved health services in the country.

TWO HOSPITALS

Under the programme, President Kenyatta aims to raise at least two hospitals per county to Level Four or Five status so that service delivery is at the same level across the country.

“Equipment is being installed in different parts of the region ranging from dialysis, intensive care units as well as X-ray and mammography units. Some parts like Msambweni are actually seeing computerised tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging equipment for the first time,” said Esipisu.

Other benefits cited by Uhuru’s aide include improved capacity for screening and diagnosis of cancer and access to renal services.

“How to combat non-communicable diseases, increase insurance through the National Health Insurance Fund and maternal health will be discussed as well,” said Esipisu.

So far, the Government’s free maternal care programme is said to have reduced child mortality to 362 per 100,000 births from 488. It has also increased health centre deliveries to 1.2 million from just 600,000 in 2013.

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