By Claire Wanja
Kenya has received 34.7 billion shillings from Global Fund to support HIV, TB and Malaria programmes, under the New Funding Model (NFM), Principal Secretary for Health Dr. Nicholas Muraguri has said.
The new funding will run for two years starting this fiscal year 2015/16.HIV/ AIDs programmehas the lion’s share of the grant amounting to 21.9 billion, Tuberculosis 6.6 billion and Malaria Ksh 6.2 billion.
While opening the Kenya Coordinating Mechanism (KCM) consultative meeting on Global fund grants in Kenya on Wednesday, the PS said the three Global Fund grants will strengthen health and community systems through a series of initiatives, including improvement of vital registration of births and deaths, upgrading of storage and warehousing capacities for health products and integration of community health services.
He said Kenya is running the 7th largest Global fund portfolio globally putting the country at the forefront to demonstrate results and bring more patients to treatment.
Dr. Muraguri noted that the HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria programmesfunded by the Global fund have made significant contribution to meet the international set targets.
The new funding model will support the enrollment of additional 600,000 adult and children HIV patients on ARVs, elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, and HIV prevention among adolescents and youth including young women and girls, and otherkey populations.
“This will alleviate suffering, ensure accountability, engagement in useful partnerships as well as strengthening our health and community systems,” the PS added.
HIV grants have enabled the government to provide anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) to over 200,000 people living with HIV, which is about one third of those on treatment.
The PS said the TB grantwill supportenrolment of 3,000 Multi-Drug Resistant TB patients into care and support, the National rollout of isoniazid preventive therapy for PLHIVs, prisoners and other key populations, provision of therapeutic and supplementary feeds for TB patients and the Roll out of TB molecular testing using GeneXpert Technology.
In terms of the MDGs, the country has halted the rise in TB cases and has begun to reverse the burden of TB. Due to the Global Fund grants and the contribution of partners and government of Kenya, the TB burden in Kenya is on the decline, the PS said.
‘’Kenya is now ranked 15th among the 22 high TB burden countries worldwide, an improvement from position 13. There has also been marginal reduction in the mortality rates,’’ he said.
Dr. Muraguri disclosed that the malaria funds, will aid the provision of 6.8 million Long LastingInsecticide Nets (LLINS) in endemic and epidemic zones, provision of free Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT) and the Malaria diagnosis using Malaria Rapid Diagnostics Tests (mRDTs).
Through the malaria grants, the programme has been able to give 27.6 million doses of first line malaria medication and to distribute over 10 million to households in epidemic and endemic areas to achieve universal coverage of 1 net for 2 people.
“Over 21 million people are currently protected with Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Net and 16,837 health workers, in both private and public sectors,have been trained on case management,’’ the PS said.
The grants will be managed by three Principal Recipients namely: the National Treasury, the Kenya Red Cross, and KANCO for non-state actors.
The PS appealed to the County Governments to ensure they have statistics especially on births and deaths in order to effectively manage the health systems. “Robust system that will used to document Health is necessary and it is high time we moved away from paper based data to automated system”, he said.
He added the Ministry is working with the ICT Ministry to phase out manual systems to connect 98 hospitals under the Medical Equipment Service project. He directed the CECs of health in counties to manage the funds for accountability purpose.
The Global Fund is a multi-billion dollar international financing mechanism established in 2002 as a public- private partnership to fight devastating diseases namely AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The fund is managed by the Treasury and implementation done by Ministry of Health and non-state recipients AMREF for TB and Kenya Red Cross for Malaria.