Uhuru expresses content with progress in the fight against HIV/Aids

Saturday, October 5th, 2019 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo/File

President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the country in the fight against the HIV/Aids pandemic. 

The President, who reiterated Kenya's commitment to the achievement of an "Aids-Free Generation”, called on African countries to allocate more local resources to the fight so as to bridge the financing gap occasioned by dwindling external support. 

“I want to reaffirm my personal commitment to this particular agenda,” Uhuru said at State House, Nairobi, when he hosted Champions of an Aids Free Generation in Africa.

The group, led by former Botswana President Festus Mogae, includes former presidents and influential African leaders committed to the achievement of an Aids-free generation.

The leaders, individually and collectively, rally and support regional leaders towards ending the Aids epidemic as a public health threat. 

Members of the group, including the former President of Malawi Joyce Banda, and Professor Miriam Were, commended the President for the various health sector reforms he is undertaking such as the ongoing rollout of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

They urged Uhuru to continue rallying other Heads of State to show more political goodwill in the fight against HIV/Aids on the continent.

The champions urged the President to spearhead efforts to make African nations allocate more local resources to the fight against HIV/Aids, expand access to ARVs and other primary healthcare services. 

“External assistance is declining and even where it is available it is in decline and its covering fewer and fewer populations in our continent. That means we have to try and do something about it including allocating more local resources,” Mogae said. 

Former President Banda commended First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for championing maternal and child healthcare through the Beyond Zero Initiative. 

She said the First Lady's sustained health campaign has contributed significantly to Kenya’s efforts to lower HIV/Aids prevalence especially among mothers, children and the youth.

Uhuru said Kenya’s UHC plan is aimed at consolidating resources from local and international sources to ensure expanded access to primary healthcare, including HIV/Aids services. 

He added that expanded access to primary healthcare, especially preventive services, will help slow down the spread of the viral disease. 

The President said the campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by 2022, the various affirmative actions to empower women and girls, as well as the growing budgetary allocations to health and education sectors, are some of the government interventions aimed at achieving the goal of an Aids-free population. 

The group was accompanied to State House by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki; Health PS Susan Mochache; UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya Siddharth Chatterjee; and, Amref Health Africa chief executive Dr Githinji Gitahi.

More on National