Anxiety as HIV donor funding reduces drastically

Thursday, February 27th, 2020 15:59 |
HIV testing requires removing an aliquot of blood specimen. Photo/PD/File

Donor funding towards the fight against HIV/Aids has dropped from 90 to 60 per cent in the last 15 years.

The National Aids Control Council (NACC) said funding has dwindled after donors pulled out and has now challenged the government to urgently address the issue of funding so as to sustain the gains made.

Already, the country’s HIV prevalence has dropped from 5.6 per cent to 4.9 per cent in the last five years according to the latest data from NACC.

According to the council deputy director in charge of HIV and investment Regina Ombam, the country had for years largely relied on donor funding.

Ombam said that there was urgent need to increase domestic funding so as to main the standards set even as the donors pulled out.

“Donor funding has dropped from 90 to 60 per cent and we are happy that the government has taken over the balance of 40 percent but there is need to increase this,” she said.

Ombam noted that in the coming days the country would stop getting grants from donors and would be required to seek loans to sustain the fight against HIV/Aids.

The senior officer was speaking in Lake Naivasha Resort during a Capacity Building workshop for Kiambu county officials on health governance and financing.

She praised counties for allocating sizeable funds towards health adding that they had already trained officials from Homa Bay and Kiambu counties on health governance and financing.

“Counties should now focus on prevention campaigns as treating the disease is more expensive and requires the support of the national government and donors,” she said.

Prof Sylvia Ojoo from Georgetown University said that they had already established the needs of residents of Homa Bay and Kiambu counties under the health governance project.

Ojoo said that they were working closely with boda boda operators, the youth and fisher-folk in Homa Bay in reducing the high HIV prevalence, which currently was among the top in the country.

“We have over 40,000 boda boda operators in Homa Bay and we are reaching them through their organizations while in Kiambu we are using the church to get the high number of students,” she said.

Kiambu County Aids Coordinator Josphat Maina attributed the cases of HIV Aids in the county to drug and alcohol abuse.

“The most affected persons by HIV/Aids in Kiambu are the young ones aged between 15-24 years and we are working with other agencies in terms of prevention,” he said.

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