Let’s have approaches in the war against HIV, says Health CS Kagwe

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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has called for efficient and verifiable programming approaches in the fight against HIV/AIDS to sustain gains realized over the years.

During a virtual meeting of the US president’s emergency plan for relief (PEPFAR) country operational plan, the health CS said the COVID -19 pandemic has underlined the importance of self-sufficiency in local health security.

“I, therefore, propose that all partners support the local production capacity by prioritizing purchasing locally manufactured products and commodities. Local production will ensure a steady supply of medicines to all health facilities and ease the burden of people living with HIV,” Said Kagwe.

While appreciating the role played by multiple players in the supply chain and shared roles in ensuring service continuity, the health CS urged all players to be accountable to their commitments and follow through for rationalized use of the commodities.

“To this end, the Ministry of Health is prioritizing the setting up of transparent information sharing and monitoring of the supply chain system, including a national dashboard. This is to increase supply chain pipeline visibility to all stakeholders,” The CS informed the meeting.

He said it was paramount for communities and civil society groups to align their proposals to existing government policies and frameworks even as he decried the disproportionate risk of HIV infections and reduced access to HIV services by some subpopulations.

Speaking at the same forum, US Embassy Charge de’ Affaires Eric Watnik said the United States government will continue supporting Kenya in ongoing efforts to sustain HIV response, saying it was a demonstration of the commitment to transform lives.

Kisumu governor and COG Health Committee chair Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o said the council of governors is committed to continuing collaborating with PEPFAR.

“PEPFAR has maintained a central role in Kenya’s HIV response. This planning is important to County Governments charged with the responsibility for health as per the constitution,” Said Nyong’o.

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