• NACC, in the changes following an executive order published on August 5, will be called National Syndemic Diseases Control Council.
• Beyond HIV/Aids response, the agency will deal with sexually transmitted infections, malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy and lung disease.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has restructured the National Aids Control Council and assigned it more roles beyond interventions to tackle the HIV epidemic.
NACC, in the changes following an Executive Order published on August 5, will be called National Syndemic Diseases Control Council.
Beyond HIV/Aids response, the agency will deal with sexually transmitted infections, malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy and lung disease.
The entity, as may be specified by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, will be tasked to deal with terminal illnesses and other diseases that are among the leading cause of deaths.
“There is established a state corporation to be known as the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council, which shall be a body corporate and shall perform and exercise the duties, functions and powers.”
The order states that the council shall take over the rights, duties, obligations, assets and liabilities of the National Aids Control Council.
“Any person who held office as a member of the board, or as an officer or member of staff of the NACC existing immediately before the commencement of this order, shall continue to hold office as if that person had been appointed under this order,” the President said.
Uhuru has introduced four more slots in the council in the changes, which commenced immediately after the publication of the order.
The Council of Governors will nominate a representative to the council – not a governor or a state officer, while three others will go to persons representing those with syndemic diseases.
One of three, the order says, must be a person representing persons living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus or affected by a syndemic disease.
The said persons would be appointed by the Health Cabinet Secretary considering their gender, disability, skills mix and regional balance.
Their knowledge and experience in matters relating to finance, law, business management, medicine, economics or any other relevant field will also be considered.
The new agency will be tasked to develop policies for prevention and control of syndemic diseases and also mobilise resources for their control, as well as provide grants to implementing agencies.
The council will also be charged with ensuring the accountability for the implementation of syndemic diseases programmes in the country.
It will also be the agency charged with collaboration with local and international agencies, which work in syndemic diseases control.
It is the body that will bring together government ministries, counties and institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations, community-based organisations, research bodies, the private sector and universities to participate in control and prevention of the targeted diseases.
The agency will also be tasked with research, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation of syndemic diseases programmes.
In May last year, the President abolished the positions of three deputy directors of the NACC in a major shake-up at the entity.
The position of deputy directors in charge of policy, strategy and communication; co-ordination and support and that of finance and administration were affected.
The positions were created by former President Mwai Kibaki in an order published in the gazette notice of July 5, 2004.
The post of director is currently occupied by a chief executive officer who shall be appointed by the council with the approval of the Cabinet secretary.
“The chief executive officer shall be appointed on such terms and conditions of service as the Cabinet secretary may, in consultation with the committee, approve.
“The CEO shall subject to the direction of the council, be responsible for the day to day management of the affairs and staff of the council,” the new rules read.
Also created was the post of corporation secretary to be recruited by the board, being a person qualified in terms of the law governing the practice of public secretaries in Kenya.
“The corporation secretary shall be the secretary to the council and shall be responsible for arranging the business and meetings of the council.”
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)