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Government committed to increase AIDs funding

 President William Ruto.[Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

The Kenyan government has said that it is committed to increasing domestic funding for emergency plans for HIV and AIDS relief.

President William Ruto while speaking in Nairobi during the 20th anniversary of the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) said that funding has been a major setback in the fight against the disease.

"HIV-related commodities are estimated to cost between Sh27-30 billion annually and, owing to a decline in donor support, the funding gap now stands at US dollars 11.75 million. The government is committed to progressively increasing domestic funding in order to sustain the gains made so far in partnership with PEPFAR," said Ruto.

According to Ruto, the government has increased its financial injection into the HIV commodity pipeline by Sh1 billion over the past two years to enable a smooth supply of emergency aid and relief.

He lauded the government's partnership with the United States of America, through the US PEPFAR saying that it has helped save lives since its inception in 2004.

"In Kenya, PEPFAR has channeled over US dollars 6.5 billion since 2004, with the latest allocation being US dollars 346,250,000 for FY 2023/24 and US dollars 327, 917,500 for FY 2024/25. As a result, there has been a 68.5pc reduction in new HIV infection and 53pc reduction in HIV-related mortality, accompanied by tremendous improvement in the quality of life of persons living with HIV," he added.

The President noted that with 1.4 million people living with HIV, over 48,000 children as well as 55,000 breastfeeding mothers are on HIV treatment.

He assured that the government is also committed to ending AIDS in children by 2027.

The PEPFAR aid which committed more than US dollars 110 billion to the fight against HIV-AIDS in more than 50 countries globally has saved over 25 million lives and many more HIV infections prevented in the country.

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