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Take Sh4.4 billion, use it wisely for HIV, TB, malaria...no scandals!

By BELDEEN WALIAULA | Wed,Jul 07 2021 07:35:05 EAT


Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe at Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital. [Nicholas Nthenge, Standard]

Kenya has been asked to spend Sh4.4 billion for various health areas without inviting the kind of scandals that faced the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa).

The money was from the Global Fund Grant Management division for supporting programs on HIV, TB and malaria and division lead, Mark Edington, said he was aware how corruption allegations against Kemsa caused a disruption in the supply chain for HIV drugs and “it's important that we have a commitment from all stakeholders to ensure that KEMSA’s challenges including governance, transparency, and accountability are resolved.”

Edington said a robust and resilient supply chains was critical to ensure effective delivery of health services and the government had an obligation of transforming Kemsa to its former glory by putting “in place mitigation measures to ensure timely procurements of health products including Covid-19 which is critical and urgent.”

The six grants, a 16 percent increase from the previous funding cycle, to scale up the support of the three disease programs, will be implemented by The National Treasury, AMREF Health Africa and Kenya Red Cross Society.

The targets set are to increase UNAIDS HIV care by 95 percent, TB treatment by 79 percent by 2023 besides rolling out malaria elimination activities in four targeted counties.

Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman skirted the ‘Kemsa disruptions issue’ and lauded the Global Fund  for helping decrease Kenya’s HIV prevalence’s from 11 percent in 1998 to the current 4.9 percent and “over 1.49 million Kenyans living with HIV in Kenya are on Antiretroviral  therapy.”

So far the Global Fund has approved roughly $68 million (Sh6.8 billion) to support Kenya in mitigating the impact of Covid-19 impacts through acquiring Covid-19 testing kits, PPEs and oxygen equipment.

Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary-General Dr Asha Mohammed called for more investment in the community preventive health structures as the pandemic has already taught us “we will never have enough hospitals and therefore putting money in the community is key” and the sentiments were echoed by Amref Health Africa CEO Dr Githinji Gitahi who said Kenya needs to formalize community health services as they are critical in achieving universal health coverage (UHC).

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