The Global Fund and health partners in Kenya Friday signed six grant agreements to strengthen the response to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. The grants aim to reach 1.3 million people with antiretroviral therapy by 2021, and drastically expand interventions to find more missing cases of TB, among other objectives.
The grants will be managed by the National Treasury, AMREF Health Africa and Kenya Red Cross Society. The ministry of Health and county governments will manage the implementation. Kenya has made great progress against HIV and malaria in the last few years.
HIV prevalence has reduced from 10.5% in 1996 to 5.4% in 2016. Since 2009, Kenya has reduced new infections among children by 44%. Malaria prevalence went from 11% in 2010 to 8% in 2015. The Global Fund and other partners have invested together with Kenya to achieve this progress.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, who signed the agreements, worth Ksh 39.2 billion (US$380 million), on behalf of the Government of Kenya, said: “We are pleased that we can all work together in the fight against diseases. Through this investment, we will accelerate our efforts to respond to HIV, TB and malaria with the aim of ending the devastating effects of these diseases in our country.”
Dr. Cloepa Mailu, the Health Cabinet Secretary said: “The ministry of Health is committed to continue working in partnership with civil society, development partners, and people affected by diseases to ensure that these investments will have great impact on the Kenyan public.”
The grants include catalytic funding – an investment in programmes and activities that can trigger impact in specific key areas in the fight against the three diseases – worth Ksh 2.6 billion (US$24.8 million).
This money will be invested in special programmes that focus on issues such as human rights, adolescent girls and young women and other people most affected by HIV and TB.
Dr Ramana Gandham, Chair of the Development Partners for Health in Kenya – a partnership of donor agencies working in Kenya – said: “We commend the inclusive dialogue that took place in the development of these grants, including the involvement of adolescents and young women. As partners, we remain committed to working with the government of Kenya and the Global Fund towards ensuring that the grants achieve maximum impact.”
Abas Gullet, Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross Society, speaking on behalf of the Civil Society organisations, said: “We are glad that these grants will continue expanding community-based interventions. As civil society organisations, we will continue strengthening our work by reaching people who are most affected by HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Together with the government, we hope to turn the tide against these diseases and achieve Kenya’s health sector goals.”
Linden Morrison, Head of the Global Fund’s High Impact Africa II Department, said: “Kenya is an excellent example of partnership at work. It was inspiring to see how the country designed the grants by conducting a successful country dialogue, ensuring that key partners were engaged and that people most affected by the diseases were put front and center of the investments.”
In line with the Global Fund’s Sustainability, Transition and Co-Financing Policy, which aims to support countries as they move toward fully domestically funded systems for health in response to HIV, TB and malaria, Kenya has committed an additional US$130 million to investments in these diseases.
“We have a historic opportunity to end the three diseases as public health threats,” added Mr. Morrison. “By working together, this partnership can achieve more impact in changing the lives of Kenyans, by contributing to their health and therefore to economic development.”