Kenya starts door to door Aids campaign

April 17, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 17 – A consortium of Multinational companies under the aegis of Global Business Coalition (GBC) have yielded to government appeals to finance health related research in local institutions towards reversing prevalence rates of terminal ailments in the country.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga said a meeting with top business executives consented to the establishment of Public Private Partnership  venture in research field in local institutions of learning with a view to contain spread of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

He told the launch of a home based counseling and testing for HIV/Aids that local universities were credited for undertaking research on possible vaccine and treatment for incurable diseases but lacked the financial base to sustain such initiatives.

"Kenya has made significant progress in the field of research and particularly fighting HIV/Aids through the Kenya Aids Vaccine Initiative and the impact of Highly Active Ant Retroviral Treatment (HAART) and Mother to child HIV Transmission (MTCT) trends" he said.

The Premier commended the USD $ 5.5 million funding from the GBC towards implementation of the unique home based testing and counseling programme and expressed optimism that initiative would reap the desired results.

He said the country had recorded positive results since the government declared the pandemic a national disaster before embarking on the war against the disease adding that such efforts likely to contain HIV/Aids prevalence rates.

Mr Odinga however said it was time the nation pushed the anti Aids crusade to another level citing past experience when such home based approaches posted tangible and positive impacts to the human race in times of life threatening catastrophes.

"GBC Health at Home initiative represents the kind of public private partnership that can make real impact on the lives of our people. The challenge of AIDS can be overcome if we work together as a global community," the premier said.

The PM assured the international community that government was determined to reduce  the number of new infections by decreasing risks that place vulnerable groups more susceptible to contract the disease.

"We are doing this by increasing the availability and access to testing and counseling and testing, strengthening surveillance on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and other HIV programme linkages," he said.

Mr Odinga took the opportunity to encourage the American government for annually funding HIV/Aids programmes in the country since the inception of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

He said the national Aids kitty benefited almost USD$ 3 billion from the presidential relief since 2004 and urged other private entities and development partners to chip and help the human race fight the disease.

Other initiative the government has geared was on the malaria and tuberculosis control campaigns in the wake of emergence of drug resistant strain of the diseases.

Medical services Minister Prof Anyang Nyongo challenged AMPATH – the implementing agencies of the home based testing initiative – to open more outlets to have a wider and more efficient coverage of the country.

Others present during the well attended launch were US Ambassador Michael Renneberger, GBC president and CEO John Tedstrom among other top business executives in the global circle.



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