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Nairobi wins excellence award for HIV/Aids care

By Rose Mukonyo | October 25th 2021

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Maj-Gen Mohamed Badi. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

Nairobi Metropolitan Services Health Directorate has received the Circle of Excellence Award for exemplary performance in HIV care.

The award by Fast-Track Cities Institute and UNAIDS laud NMS for providing access to testing, treatment and ensuring full viral suppression for Persons Living with HIV.

Nairobi County is the first city in Africa to receive the award in a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal during the Fast Track Cities 2021 conference. Other cities awarded include Bangkok, London, San Francisco and Sao Paulo.

Nairobi joined Fast Track Cities network in 2014 and Dr Jose M Zuniga, the CEO of Fast-Track Cities Institute in a letter to the NMS Directorate of Health Services notes that Nairobi has made steady progress towards ending its HIV epidemic by 2030.

The letter reads in part that, through “HIV/Aids Strategic Plan and innovative programming” which have resulted in “successfully closing the gaps between HIV diagnosis and treatment initiation with antiretroviral therapy, as well as creating enabling environments for viral suppression.”

In his acceptance speech, Dr Ouma Oluga, the NMS Director of Health Services thanked community organisations, health workers, NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi “for creating the environment of excellence” and the Government “for clarity of policies on HIV/AIDs.”

Dr Oluga added that the fast-Track Cities Programme in Nairobi through friendly and quality services for adolescents and youth has seen the development of a sexual reproductive health framework and is now guiding quality service provision in health facilities which increased to 22 in 2021.

Dr Oluga also said that NMS has trained 30 health care providers and 40 Community Health Volunteers from four high burden sub-counties on the provision of sexual reproductive health treatment.

Additionally, NMS also strengthened HIV service delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic through innovations like the multi-month dispensing, community Anti-retroviral groups, robust defaulter tracking mechanisms, SMS reminders and virtual direct observed therapy.

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