Kenya seeks domestic HIV funding

May 18, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – A Cabinet paper on sustainable domestic financing for HIV/AIDS is currently awaiting endorsement, according to Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi.

Ms Murugi said on Wednesday that if approved, it would see more resources allocated to HIV/AIDS programmes covering prevention, treatment, care and support as well as research efforts.

Speaking at the opening of a HIV/AIDS research conference in Nairobi, she however called on development partners to continue investing in strategic research work in the country to accelerate HIV/AIDS programmes.

"Many developing countries do not usually dedicate sufficient resources for research in health or development programmes and yet we all know that without informed programming, it is possible to waste a lot of resources carrying out activities that may not be beneficial to the targeted population," she said.

A section of Civil Society groups that had attended the meeting demonstrated outside the venue calling on the government to increase its commitment to funding HIV related programmes.

They also renewed a call for the establishment of a HIV/AIDS trust fund to have domestic resources for HIV programmes.

"We want zero new infections among Kenyans and those who already have HIV should not die. The only way to ensure this is to give them services, commodities and information," said Nelson Otuoma of the National Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK).

Funding from the Global fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was expected to end in 2015 while that by the US President\’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) could end in 2012, which could be a setback for the country if it does not prepare to fund its own programmes.

Government statistics indicate that there are 1.4 million Kenyans living with HIV/AIDS.

The conference would provide a framework for taking stock of the HIV/AIDS programme implementation and enhancing multidisciplinary discussions among diverse stakeholders especially the research scientists on what works and what does not work.

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