The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Tuesday announced a grant of 48 billion Kenyan shillings (about 441 million U.S. dollar) to boost Kenya’s fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Rashid Aman, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Health, said the funds will also be used to strengthen the country’s health systems at all levels.
“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 percent of the 2016 levels by 2023,” Aman said in Nairobi during a virtual signing ceremony of the new Global Fund grant.
The Global Fund has provided 25 grants to Kenya since 2002 amounting to about 926.3 million dollars, adding that robust financing is key to conquering infectious diseases in the country. Aman said the support has complemented Kenya’s investments in improving health outcomes and saving lives and in reduction of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria caseload.
He said the investments by the Global Fund and other partners have resulted in a steady decrease of HIV prevalence from a high of 11 percent in 1998 to the current level of 4.9 percent, while over 75 percent of the 1.49 million people living with the virus in Kenya are on essential drugs to prolong their lives.
Aman said that the treatment success rate among TB patients has improved from 81 percent in 2018 to 85 percent in 2021. He said that 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 courtesy of the Global Fund.
The Kenya malaria indicator surveys show an overall reduction in the disease burden and prevalence from 8.2 percent in 2015 to 5.6 percent in 2020. Aman said that through the Global Fund support, patients with multi-drug resistant TB are receiving the benefit of social protection through enrollment in the National Health Insurance Fund.
Mark Edington, head of Global Fund grant management division said that out of the total grant, 264 million, 96 million and 81 million dollars will be allocated to fight HIV, tuberculosis and malaria respectively.
Edington noted that 26 million dollars has also been allocated as catalytic funding components for key populations, human rights, adolescents and young women interventions and finding missing TB cases.
He said the funding, which represents a 16 percent increase from the previous funding cycle, will allow Kenya to sustain the progress achieved in the fight against infectious diseases and invest in robust health systems.