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HomeHealthHealth CS Calls for Integrated Approach to Address Gaps in HIV Response...

Health CS Calls for Integrated Approach to Address Gaps in HIV Response in Kenya

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Health CS Susan Nakhumicha has called for a holistic and patient-centered approach in addressing gaps in HIV response in Kenya. During the ongoing HIV service delivery integration summit in Mombasa on June 18, 2024, the CS acknowledged that despite the progress made in combating HIV since the first case was reported in the country in 1984, there are still gaps in client outcomes.

Nakhumicha noted that geographical inequalities and stigma continue to impede optimal HIV outcomes. She called for an end to stigmatized stand-alone labeling of HIV services and clients in facilities, and instead advocated for the reorganization of service delivery points through integration into other service delivery areas or transformation into broader chronic care models.

The CS further highlighted the emerging concern of the quality of life for people living with HIV (PLHIV) on long-term treatment, particularly due to the increased risk of non-communicable diseases and mental health needs. She noted that Kenya’s HIV health service delivery currently operates predominantly through vertical programming, which results in high costs, parallel services, and gaps in quality of care.

Nakhumicha reiterated the ministry’s commitment to redesign the HIV response to align with and contribute to the health reform agenda aimed at ensuring progress towards ending HIV as a public health threat. She called for collaboration in strengthening state institutions responsible for HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, safe blood supply management, and supply chain management to the last mile.

The CS also emphasized the need to review financial support models from stakeholders, including PEPFAR, to increase proportional funding through Government-to-Government funding mechanisms at all levels. Additionally, she highlighted the importance of strengthening and utilizing Kenya’s potential for local manufacturing of pharmaceutical and healthcare products to contribute to HIV commodity security and sustainable growth.

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