HEALTHCARE BOOST

Kenya signs Sh48bn grant for TB, malaria initiatives

Global Fund calls for commitment to address accountability issues at Kemsa

In Summary
  • Since 2002, Global Fund has given 25 grants amounting to Sh100 billion to Kenya.
  • This has resulted to remarkable progress in reduction in the three major public health diseases of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the country.
Health CAS Rashid Aman during the official Global Fund Grants signing ceremony on July 6 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel
Health CAS Rashid Aman during the official Global Fund Grants signing ceremony on July 6 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel
Image: /WILFRED NYANGARESI

Kenya’s effort to fight malaria, tuberculosis and HIV has received a major boost after the signing of a Global Fund grant of Sh48 billion.

The three-year grant will be implemented between July 2021 and June 2024.

The grant is expected to support initiatives to find missing people with TB, ensuring patients on TB treatment adhere to medication, community case management of malaria and mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on HIV, TB and malaria.

In Kenya, Global Fund operations are coordinated by the Kenya Coordinating Mechanism while implementation is undertaken by the principal recipients and subrecipients.

The National Treasury, Amref Health Africa and Kenya Red Cross Society will be responsible for Sh31.3 billion (HIV, TB and Malaria grants), Sh7.4 billion (TB and malaria grants) and Sh8.1 billion (HIV grant) respectively.

The Global Fund called on commitment from all stakeholders that the current governance, transparency and accountability issues facing the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority are addressed.

“We are all aware of the recent allegations of corruption at Kemsa. We know investigations have been going on and some are completed. It is important that we have commitment from all stakeholders to ensure that Kemsa’s challenges are resolved,” Mark Edington said.

Edington is the division head of grant management at Global Fund.

“We understand that the Kemsa reform programme is on-going and is expected to positively transform the agency. The transformation of Kemsa to its former glory is critical for the health sector, and I emphasise very critical,” he added.

Since 2002, Global Fund has given 25 grants amounting to Sh100 billion to Kenya. This has resulted to remarkable progress in reduction in the three major public health diseases of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the country.

For instance, Kenya has witnessed a steady decrease of HIV prevalence from a high of 11 per cent in 1998 to the current level of 4.9 per cent while more than 75 per cent of the 1.49 million people living with HIV in the country have been put on Anti Retro Viral therapy.

Health CAS Rashid Aman, Group CEO Amref Githinji Gitahi and CAS Treasury Nelson Gaichuhie during the official Global Fund Grants signing ceremony on July 6 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel
Health CAS Rashid Aman, Group CEO Amref Githinji Gitahi and CAS Treasury Nelson Gaichuhie during the official Global Fund Grants signing ceremony on July 6 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

On the other hand, treatment success rate among TB patients has improved from 81 per cent in 2018 to 85 per cent in 2021.

The incidence rate has been declining by eight per cent annually.

Through Global Fund support, patients with Multi Drug Resistant TB are receiving the benefit of social protection through enrolment in the NHIF.

The Global Fund investments in Kenya have also contributed to ensuring the availability of life saving medication for malaria.

During the just ended grant period, over 7.5 million doses of antimalarial drugs, seven million rapid test kits and 16 million long lasting mosquito nets have been procured and distributed countrywide.

“My ministry will ensure the grant is implemented as per the design, and in ways that contribute to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage,” Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman said.

“We hope to achieve comprehensive prevention, treatment and care for people infected with HIV, TB, leprosy and lung disease as well as reduce malaria incidence and deaths by at least 75 per cent of the 2016 levels by 2023,” Aman added.

The Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by diseases designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria epidemics globally.

This comes even as a review of the project’s books of accounts by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu revealed that Kenya is likely to refund Sh1 billion un-utilised HIV cash to donors.

The cash will be taken back to the donors following the failure of the concerned health ministry agencies to utilise the money within the project period.

-Edited by SKanyara