CS Health launches USAID “Power to the People” report ahead of World AIDs Day

Kiambu, KENYA Tuesday November 26, 2019 – The World AIDS Day Report dubbed “Power to the People” was today launched in Kenya to recognize the importance of communities as critical enablers of the HIV response.
The report was launched by the Cabinet Secretary for Health Sicily Kariuki at Garissa Road Primary School in Kiambu county in the presence of the Secretary General and Executive Director of UNAIDS Winnie Byanyima.
Speaking at the launch the CS said that the Ministry of Health has put in place measures and resources to strengthen primary health care through enhanced community health services by expanding curriculum of training community health volunteers and provision of kits.
She revealed that Kenya is walking a good journey in reducing the HIV/Aids epidemic. The country has registered more than 51% reduction in new infections from 100,000 per annum in 2013 to less than 50,000 with a HIV incidence currently at 1.8 %. The ART coverage has also continued to improve in recent years with a total of 1.2 Million people on treatment. AIDS related deaths have also been on a downward trend falling from 60,000 in 2014 to 28,000 in 2018 enabling the country to move closer to attainment of our 90:90:90 targets but the work still goes on, she said.
“I want to thank all our partners for helping us in this journey of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and we are pleased to hear success stories of people living with HIV for more than 30 years,” she said.
The CS observed that the HIV prevention and promotive services have been successful largely due to the multi-sector action across various institutions and community networks adding that the ministry intends to leverage on the same structures and systems to accelerate the attainment of UHC with regard to disease prevention, chronic care follow up and wellness promotion.
She also acknowledged that despite the gains made the country is cognizant of the structural, economic and cultural barriers in accessing health care, which decelerates achieving an AIDS free society.
She said that the Ministry budget has been increased by more than 50% over the last two years to plug the donor cuts in anti-retroviral therapy and essential services.
The UNAIDS Secretary General and Executive Director of UNAIDS, Winnie Byanyima noted that despite the efforts to fight the HIV epidemic, lack enough resources to fight the disease still remain a threat. “Health can’t be a privilege for the rich but a right for each and every citizen,” she argued.
She called for reduction of inequalities that surrounds HIV/AIDs especially access to medicines, provision of services such as education and health to end the rampant spread of HIV/AIDS and promotion of women rights at the work place and at home.