Amref Health Africa and Global Fund Sign Grant to Strengthen Fight Against TB and Malaria in Kenya

by Amref Health Africa

Nairobi, June 24, 2024 — In a landmark event, Amref Health Africa has signed a significant Global Fund Grant to strengthen the fight against TB and Malaria in Kenya. This grant, covering the period from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2027, represents a significant step forward in combating these diseases.

Amref Health Africa in Kenya has successfully managed similar grants in collaboration with the Ministry of Health for more than ten years, significantly contributing to reducing TB and malaria across the country. Through sub-granting and collaborative efforts, Amref will continue to implement the GF grant through 46 sub-recipients across the country by strengthening the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in a bid to enhance Primary Healthcare service delivery and accelerate the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Kenya. A report by the Ministry of Health shows that Kenya has nearly universal screening and treatment for TB/HIV co-infected patients in 2020. 98% of TB patients in Kenya knew their HIV status. 97% of TB patients who tested positive for HIV were on antiretroviral therapy during TB treatment.

In his address, Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO of Amref Health Africa, praised the Global Fund as the gold standard in country-led and community-owned development assistance. “It is essential that governments in developing countries prioritize responding to the Lusaka Agenda, which emphasizes how global health initiatives can more effectively complement domestic financing to maximize health impacts and support country-led priorities towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC),” Dr Gitahi stated. He highlighted that the Lusaka Agenda underscores the need for sustainable health systems, local capacity building, and multi-sectoral collaboration to achieve comprehensive health coverage and resilience against diseases.

Mr. Harry Kimtai, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Medical Services and Chairperson of the Kenya Coordinating Mechanism (KCM) for the Global Fund, reiterated the importance of collaborative efforts in developing and submitting the new Global Fund grant proposal. “This grant was coordinated and developed by the KCM through a transparent and documented process involving a broad range of stakeholders,” he said. Mr. Kimtai also emphasized the funding gap: “During the funding request development process, the total need identified was USD 614,496,915. The Global Fund has supported Kenya with USD 407,989,068, leaving a programmatic gap of USD 216,507,847. We call upon development partners and other health stakeholders to support this prioritized gap.” Mr. Kimtai expressed his appreciation for the team involved, recognizing the efforts of the Global Fund Country Team, KCM members, KCM Secretariat, funding request writing teams, Grant Making Team, National Treasury team, Amref Health Africa, KRCS, and Heads of Programmes.

Kenya has been part of the Global Fund partnership since 2003, achieving remarkable milestones. These include a reduction in annual AIDS-related deaths from 53,000 in 2010 to 19,000 in 2020 and an increase in HIV treatment coverage from 31% in 2010 to 86% in 2020. The grant has also supported Kenya in successfully implementing three long-lasting insecticidal net campaigns since 2014, with more than 42 million mosquito nets distributed to protect people from malaria distribution of over 42 million mosquito nets to combat malaria since 2014.

Mr. Mark Edington, Head of the Global Fund Grant Management Division, expressed optimism for the future. “The Global Fund is committed to supporting Kenya’s fight against these devastating diseases. Today’s collaborative efforts are a testament to what we can achieve together. This grant will help sustain the remarkable gains the country has made so far with the support of improved infrastructure, such as the new supply chain system that will help to eliminate delays and stock-outs, ” he remarked.

Dr Gitahi concluded his remarks by calling for more substantial contributions to primary health care (PHC) by effectively strengthening systems for health at the grassroots. “The country’s malaria prevalence has decreased from 8.2% in 2015 to 6% in 2023 due to the first contact of care provided by Community Health Promoters (CHPs) during their door-to-door visits. Well-trained and equipped CHPs are the frontlines in community case management and disease treatment, lessening the burden on health facilities,” he stated. He commended the government of Kenya and all partners who have supported the training and equipping of CHPs, emphasizing the need for a regulatory framework for engaging and training CHPs and establishing an evidence-based platform to enhance decision-making at the community level. He urged the Ministry of Health to harmonize the Primary Health Care Act and the Community Health Strategy for better returns on investment. Additionally, he called on the Ministry of Health’s leadership to convene a national summit to strengthen community service delivery in the country.

Community systems are breaking down traditional barriers to equitable access to health services. CHPs not only ease the burden on upper-level health facilities but also improve the coordination of health systems, ensuring that patients receive timely and accurate diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, CHPs empower individuals to take charge of their health and wellness through day-to-day messaging of healthy living and positive health-seeking behaviour. The Global Fund’s partnership with the Kenyan government has supported the development of 1,933 community health units, training 18,500 community health promoters (CHPs) and 3,700 Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs).

Kenya has contributed KES 653,550 and USD 13 million to the Global Fund and pledged USD 10 million for the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment, covering 2023-2025. This represents a 67% increase over its Sixth Replenishment pledge, demonstrating Kenya’s commitment to alleviating the burden of these three diseases and building strong and resilient health systems

Notes to editor:

About Amref Health Africa in Kenya

Amref Health Africa is Africa’s leading public health non-profit organization. Founded in 1957, we have walked with communities for over six decades, improving their health. With the bold vision of ‘lasting health change in Africa,’ Amref empowers communities and their health systems to break barriers to primary health care. In Kenya, Amref has a footprint in all 47 counties. Through shared value partnerships with civil society organizations, development agencies, and national and county governments, we have, during our 2018 – 2022 strategic plan, impacted the lives of more than 30 million people. Amref’s Strategic Plan for 2023 – 2030 sets a bold mission to transform the health of communities through Primary Health Care with a focus on women and young people. In the ambitious plan, Amref is building on the successes and lessons from the previous strategic plan to achieve its vision through people-centred primary healthcare systems and addressing social determinants of health while considering emerging drivers shaping the future of healthcare in Kenya.

Media Contacts:

Edna Mosiara – [email protected]

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