National AIDS Control Council organized Maisha HIV and AIDS Conference bringing together key stakeholders in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Kenya. The conference was held on 8th May, 2015 at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies Nairobi. The stakeholders met to discuss accelerating research and evidence generation towards the achievement of Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework (KASF 2014-2019) goals.
As a strategic partner in the fight, Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) participated in the conference through its’ Global Fund Program (GF). KRCS intended to highlight and share efforts towards improving the quality of life to those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, and mitigation of the socio-economic impact of the scourge. KRCS showcased facets of its collective efforts in community HIV care and support as well as HIV prevention efforts through its work with the grant’s sub-recipients. The sub-recipients were also present to showcase their involvement in providing services to key affected populations who represent the highest burden of HIV. The conference attendees had opportunities to identify gaps, share experience, and increase knowledge and expertise in working in people infected and affected by HIV.
The conference was officiated by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Hon. James Macharia. Hon Macharia emphasized the aim of the conference which was to provide a forum to share key knowledge, research gaps and priorities towards implementation of the KASF 2014-2019 strategic frame work focusing on leadership in HIV response. The framework emphasizes an equitable HIV response that ensures no one is left behind. It promotes calibration of our efforts through effective prioritization of targeted interventions and evidence-based investments, which target priority populations, while ensuring that all Kenyans are reached and stigma and discrimination are reduced for improved health outcomes.
“We cannot afford complacency as HIV is still a pandemic and we must confront it through decisive actions”, said Health CS James Macharia. He stated that over 600,000 Kenyans are on ARV treatment and this has contributed to a significant drop in HIV infections. Great progress has been made with HIV prevalence dropping 2 percentage points in the last 5 years and new infections among children almost halved. HIV however continues to contribute to the highest mortality rates, burdening households and straining national health systems. With this understanding, the Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework exemplifies the firm commitment by key stakeholders to support National and County governments to deliver better health for all with a focus on cost effective and socially inclusive interventions to prevent and manage HIV and AIDS.
KRCS is the non-state Principal Recipient for HIV/AIDS Global Fund Round 10 grant. We currently manage the USD 48 million five-year grant. The grant is implemented through 56 civil society organizations covering 25 high HIV burden counties in Kenya. The program focuses on expanding care and treatment services to reach universal access and increase the coverage of prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), HIV testing and counseling ( HTC), Key Population and Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) interventions in the country. The GF R10 grant is a five year program with financial support from The Global Fund to fight AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria.