The United States Ambassador to Kenya Mr Kyle McCarter yesterday urged Kenyans to shift focus from external dollars and cents to Kenya’s greatest resource – its people.
Speaking during a visit to Tabitha Medical Clinic in the informal settlement of Kibera in Nairobi County on the morning of Monday, September 30, the ambassador said that Kenya has the potential to become a benefactor for development.
“The greatest resource that Kenya has is its people. Sometimes we give too much attention to the partners when attention needs to be on the potential that Kenyans have. There are qualified, exceptional talented Kenyans and that is the greatest resource this country has. Kenya is not destined to become dependent upon foreign aid. This country has the ability not to be a beneficiary but a benefactor.”
Tabitha Clinic is one of eight facilities serving Kibera and its environs supported by Amref Health Africa in Kenya through the Kibera Reach 90 project. Funded by the US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the project seeks to improve prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and related opportunistic infections including tuberculosis (TB) and initiating programs to provide Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).
The facility was founded in 2001 by Tabitha Atieno Festo and commenced HIV services in 2008. Services provided through this project include adult and paediatric HIV prevention, care and treatment, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), integrated TB/HIV services and HIV counselling and testing.
During the visit, Ambassador McCarter had a chance to engage with young people involved in the Operation Triple Zero (OTZ) initiative and learn how they have become overcomers and champions for adolescents living with HIV.
“Operation Triple Zero is a success because of the commitment of the young people, but it also takes the whole community joining forces to work together for it to be successful,” he said.
OTZ is an initiative that enrols children and adolescents living with HIV between the ages of 10 and 19 years encouraging them to take responsibility for their own health and commit to the triple zero goal of zero missed appointments, zero missed medications and zero viral load.
With PEPFAR/CDC funding, Amref Health Africa in Kenya has been supporting the provision and expansion of integrated TB and HIV/AIDS care and treatment services within the informal settlements of Kibera since 2003. Other facilities supported by the Reach 90 project include the (Amref) Kibera Community Health Centre, Child Doctor Clinic, Kibera South Health Centre, Silanga Health Centre, IOM Eastleigh, Ushirika Medical Centre, Tabitha Medical Clinic, and Lang’ata Health Centre.