Kenya winning war against Aids, malaria and TB — Global Fund

Urged to contribute more to the Global Fund as 'a lot still needs to be done'

In Summary

•Kenya is among the 30 countries with a triple burden of TB, TB/HIV and multi-drug resistant TB.

•The country is ranked 14th among TB high-burden countries that contribute to 80 per cent of the global TB burden. 

HIV testing
HIV testing
Image: FILE

Kenya has been urged to increase her contribution to the Global Fund for the war against HIV, TB and malaria to be won. 

The fund’s executive director Peter Sands yesterday said even though a lot of success has been registered, a lot still needs to be done.

“Kenya’s contribution to the fund is commendable. However, those receiving must contribute at the global stage. We need more money,” Sands said.

The director regretted that diseases still kill too many people. "We cannot celebrate yet. We need more innovation, deeper collaboration and constant improvement in execution." 

Kenya is supposed to get more than Sh34 billion from the Global Fund.

In September 2016, the country announced that it will donate Sh500 million ($5 million) to the fund for the fight the war against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.

Sands said the fund targets to raise US$14 billion (Sh1.4 trillion). "Our success is your success." 

He was speaking during a tour of Mbagathi Hospital to find how Program Quality and Efficiency was being implemented.

The two-year programme is funded by the Global Fund and implemented by the National Aids STI Control Programme together with the Ministry of Health.

It is also piloted in 70 facilities in Nairobi, Kisumu, Vihiga, Nakuru, Homa Bay, Mombasa and Kwale counties.

The programme aims at achieving "much with minimal resources" at the same time reducing the burden on health systems through the implementation of differentiated care on quality improvement approach.

Since 2002, the Global Fund has signed more than Sh1.4 trillion grants with Kenya.

Mbagathi is the second largest HIV care facility in the country after Kenyatta National Hospital.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Health CAS Rashid Amani and Health CEC Mohammed Dagane were present.

Dagane said HIV prevalence in Nairobi has reduced from 6.1 per cent to 5.9 per cent in the past three years.

He attributed the drop to the implementation of Program Quality and Efficiency.

“As a result of this we can say Mbagathi (Hospital) is one of the centres of excellence,” the executive said.

Sonko said the Global Fund has been an invaluable partner to both the national and the Nairobi county governments and has helped reduce the impact of HIV, TB and malaria.

“Mbagathi Level 4 Hospital serves a catchment population of more than three million people. In the outpatient department alone, the HIV clinic serves about 5,000 active patients, with an average workload of approximately 80-120 clients per day. Health services in Kenya have improved significantly over the last few years, but a lot still needs to be done,” the governor said.

He said child mortality rate has gone down and there has been an improvement in the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Understaffing is the county’s biggest challenge in the health sector resulting in extended hours for doctors, nurses, clinical officers and other staff. 

“We need support to improve our 103 small health centres so that we can reduce the pressure on our major hospitals; Pumwani, Mbagathi, Mama Lucy, and Mutuini, as well as Kenyatta National Hospital,” he said.

HIV preventive measures have improved from 47 per cent in 2002 to 90 per cent this year in Nairobi, he said.

Kenya is among the 30 countries with a triple burden of TB, TB/HIV and Multi-Drug Resistant TB. 

It is ranked 14th among the TB high-burden countries that contribute to 80 per cent of the global TB burden, (Global TB Report, 2016).

There are 1,493,400 people living with HIV in Kenya.

The fund aims to ensure Aids, TB and malaria will no longer be a public health threat by 2030.

In Kenya, TB is the fifth leading cause of death.

Some 96,434 TB patients have been treated in the past, among them 10,087 children and 669 multiple drug-resistant TB cases.

Already, the Health ministry has launched a new strategy to diagnose and cure 597,000 people with TB by 2023.

The number includes 55,000 children, 542,000 adults and 4,500 people with multiple drug-resistant TB in addition to providing TB preventive therapy to at least 900,000 Kenyans at risk. 

(Edited by R.Wamochie)