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Donors cut down funding for HIV/Aids programmes

Donor funding for non-communicable diseases and HIV and Aids programmes have continued to dwindle.

Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia says the donors have diverted the funds to other programmes and significantly reduced funding HIV and Aids scourge.

“Most development partners are currently down-sizing funds on HIV and Aids. The Government is now forced to allocate funds to ensure continuous support towards managing the scourge,” Dr Macharia said.

Speaking yesterday during a three-day conference on Peer Education, Sexuality and HIV and Aids, Macharia said Kenyans are spending Sh10 billion annually to seek treatment for these diseases abroad.

“Currently, individuals who go out every year to seek treatment in countries like India, South Africa, Dubai among others amounts to Sh10 billion,” he said.

The CS assured Kenyans that his ministry was investing on capacity building to prevent more citizens from seeking offshore treatment.

He said the Government was working with a group of doctors to set up facilities that would provide treatment for non-communicable diseases.

“There is a new facility that the Government is setting up along Kiambu Road that will cater for patients with non-communicable disease like cancer and cardiovascular among others,” said Macharia.

The Executive Director and founder of the National Organisation of Peer Educators (Nope) Philip Mbugua told the Government to allocate more resources to fight cases of new infections.

New infections

“The Government should increase the funding on HIV and Aids to fight infection of new cases,” said Mr Mbugua.

Mbugua called for concerted efforts to help prevent new infections among the youth.

Reacting to the same, the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) Deputy coordinator Hanna Dagnachew, said the US global aid response would remain strong and committed to ensuring that both the national and the county governments get the assistance they need.

Speakers at the conference called on the enacting of best practices among the youth, and told peer educators to not only issue condoms to the young people, but also educate them on the correct usage and good behaviour.

“The pupils should be educated rather than just supplying them with condoms, which may lead to increased new infections and unplanned pregnancies,” said the CS.

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