The recent standoff between the Kenyan government and the USAID over the supply of antiretroviral drugs continues to elicit reactions.
The latest to air their views are a section of religious leaders who want the government to resolve its differences with donor agencies to avert delay of the drugs in the future.
The leaders who hail from the Mount Kenya region urged President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration to set aside resources to buy the drugs, warning against overreliance on donors.
Last week, commercial workers and people living with HIV in the country also flooded the streets of Mombasa in Kenya’s Coast, demanding the government to address the inadequate supply of the drug in the country.
“How many commercial sex workers are HIV positive, if the workers had suppressed the virus with the drugs what will happen? Won’t they infect other people’s husbands?” said the director of Nkoko Iju Africa, a sex workers organization, Marylynne Laini.
The furious protesters carried placards written ‘ARVs is my life’, ‘ARVs is my constitution’, ‘prevent coronavirus not ARVs, etc.
Recently, Kenya has been in dire need of the drugs after the USAID, the chief supplier, stopped supplying the drug through Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa), citing mismanagement and corruption.
The USAID demanded to use a company called Chemonics International to procure and supply ARVs to Kenyans, but Kenya declined.
The acute shortage of ARVs had put the lives of 1.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS at risk.
Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that the standoff has since been resolved.