, LONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 30 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has secured donor funding amounting to Sh500m in London to help in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The funds from the Elton John Foundation will mainly go towards provision of self-testing kits in a programme aimed at stopping new HIV infection by 2030.
“I’m delighted with the new initiative by the Elton John Foundation that will largely boost our efforts in the fight against the scourge that was declared a national disaster by the government,” said Sonko.
Speaking in London during the AIDSfree Cities Global Forum, Sonko said his administration is committed in eliminating the spread of the disease.
During the global forum, the Nairobi County Government also joined two other cities, London and Atlanta, to sign a commitment to accelerate the 2014 Paris declaration aimed at stopping new HIV infections by 2030.
“There is political goodwill coupled with good budgetary allocation to curb the spread of HIV/Aids in Nairobi City,” said Sonko.
He said his administration has increased the number of Comprehensive Care Centres (CCC) from 169 to 203 and elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) sites from 180 to 302 in an effort aimed at stopping the spread of the disease.
The governor also added that Tuberculosis patients in Nairobi who are on free Anti-retroviral treatment have increased from 80 per cent to 91 per cent and the number of persons tested for HIV from half a million to over 1 million.
“In terms of how we made it happen, at the leadership level, we have ensured the necessary political goodwill is available and provided strong leadership with specific commitment to increased HIV budget allocation. My new Minister of Health is also the Vice Chair of the National HIV Tribunal to demonstrate our commitment to achieving our 2020 targets and ending AIDS by 2030,” said Sonko.
The Nairobi Governor said as a government and with support of development partners, they have developed The Nairobi City HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan in line with the Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework (KASF) within 1 year of signing the Paris Declaration.
“We have also developed a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for HIV for 2018 to 2021,” said Sonko during his speech before the delegates attending the conference.
Sonko said they have also ensured strong partnership and coordination of stakeholders to realize increased private sector involvement on HIV matters.
“We have also established city multi-sectoral HIV committee that meets quarterly to review reports from technical working committees which dealing with issues,” said Sonko.
The forum was attended by officials from the UK and US led by Ann Aslett from Elton John Foundation, Robb Pitts, the Chairman of Folton County of Commissioners and other delegates.
In his speech Aslett remained optimistic that Kenya is able to achieve the Paris 2014 declaration on zero HIV infections by 2030.
“I wish to thank Nairobi City County Governor Mike Sonko for his commitment towards realizing the Paris 2014 declaration. Our foundation is determined to also help Nairobi City achieve zero HIV infections by 2030.