Remember February 13 – The International Condom Day!

International Condom Day is celebrated on February 13th – a day before Valentines Day, as a way of reminding ourselves about condoms and how effective they are in preventing pregnancies and STIs, including HIV. This year’s theme is Safer Is Fun and since its inception in 2009, the day is commemorated as an effort to reduce and stop new HIV infections through safe sex practices.

Since its invention and use back in 3000 BC by King Minos of Crete, condoms have been a topic of nosiness throughout history and the idea of safer sex has been explored in ancient times and used to prevent venereal diseases.  Romans used bladder of animals as condoms to protect the woman not from pregnancies but from venereal diseases until Charles Goodyear who used vulcanization – the process of transforming rubber in malleable structures – to produce latex condoms.

About 1.5 million people are living with HIV in Kenya and the national prevalence is estimated to be at 4.9 per cent. The main mode of HIV transmission is through sexual contact with accounts for about 80% of all new HIV infections. According to the 2018 HIV estimates, adolescents and young people account for 40% of new HIV infections and the reasons cited for the increase include low-risk perception of HIV and changing attitudes and casual sex with multiple partners which have also led to increasing of adolescent and teenage pregnancies.

The reduction of new HIV infections is the first objective in the Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework and Kenya being a member of UN member states is committed to contributing in reduction of new HIV infections to fewer than 500,000 globally.  In the effort to reduce new HIV infections, the National AIDS Control Council is distributing condoms and installing condom dispensers across the country and since October last year over 400 condom dispensers and 300,000 male condoms have been distributed in nine counties – Homa Bay, Nyandarua, Kakamega, Siaya, Mombasa, Kisii, Kisumu, Kiambu and Nairobi.  The distribution targets areas that are highly and frequently visited such as public toilets, bars and lodges.  The initiative is to promote the sufficient supply and making condoms accessible to the people who need them and when they need them.

The use of condoms is cited to contribute to the reduction of HIV transmission and stopped the wider spread of HIV in places where the epidemic is concentrated. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), through a global modelling analysis, condoms are said to have averted around 50 million new HIV infections since the onset of the HIV epidemic. Currently, Kenya is finalizing its Condom Strategy Plan that will provide a national framework to guide implementation of a comprehensive condom program through advocacy and promotion, distribution and proper disposal and structured monitoring and evaluation strategies to promote the uptake and consistent use of condoms.

As the world has progressively come up with major scientific advances in areas of HIV prevention apart from condoms such as biomedical interventions such as antiretroviral therapy (ART) which has substantially reduced HIV transmission. Condoms still remain central in HIV response because only when sustained viral suppression is confirmed and very closely monitored in a person living with HIV, – and when the risk of other STIs and unintended pregnancy is low, it may be safe not to use a condom.

The National AIDS Control Council together with partners will be celebrating the International Condom Day in 3 counties – Kirinyaga, Homabay and Muranga with the national event being held at Kirinyaga University in Kirinyaga County starting at 8.00 a.m.   As we celebrate the International Condom Day on 13 February, let us remember that Safer is Fun, with a condom!

Homabay County benefits from a training on Sustainable Health Financing and Governance

Homabay Governor Cyprian Awiti, his deputy governor Hamiliton Orata, Homabay County CECs members and directors together with organizers of the workshop on Sustainable Health Financing and Governance led by Ms Regina Ombam, Deputy Director HIV Investment in National AIDS Control Council that was held in Sai Rock Hotel, Mombasa.

Today marks the end of a 2-day workshop of Homabay County training on sustainable health financing and governance that brought together the top leadership of the county led by H.E Governor Cyprian Awiti, deputy governor Hamilton Orata, all county executive and some directors and county administrators including the Members of the County Assembly in Mombasa. The workshop covered issues on health governance and financing such as sustainable health financing and aims to create a paradigm shift in the health delivery process in Homabay county.

NACC CEO Dr Nduku Kilonzo welcoming H.E. Governor Cyprian Awiti and his deputy governor Hamiliton Orata to 2-day workshop training on sustainable health financing and governance in Mombasa, Sai Rock Hotel. The workshop addressed the state of the HIV response, risk factors and domestic financing and governance.

The workshop was organised by the National AIDS Control Council through a LISTEN (Local Innovation Spread Through Enterprise Network) model, an innovative and accountability network model that focuses on Communities of Practice (CoP) using a Human Centered Design (HCD) approach to the strengthen delivery of services both Health and non-health being piloted in Homabay and Kiambu counties in Kenya. The model is being piloted in 3 countries in Africa; Kenya, Malawi and Eswatini with support Georgetown University.

In his remarks, H.E Governor Awiti thanked the National AIDS Control Council and the Georgetown University for their efforts in HIV response in the County, that has changed the mindset of the people in the HIV response incorporating a multisectoral approach that looks at issues beyond HIV. He said, “Homabay county’s response to HIV is multisectoral and the more reason that he ensured all the county executives attended the workshop”.

Initially known as Business Process for Impact (BPI) model and changed to LISTEN model that started to be piloted in March last year has transformed the thinking of the people in Mfangano Island and Dhiwa sub-counties of Homabay by putting communities at the centre in seeking solutions to their problems.

Through ordinary grassroots gatherings of Boda Boda and fisherfolk communities that meet and discuss various issues that affect them such as security and road safety, the LISTEN model has used these avenues to plugin issues on HIV and other health issues, making them salient and feature as part of the problems that require solutions. The model has linked these communities with policymakers including county administrators and service providers as part of the process in finding solutions to their problems.

The county leadership reiterated that the LISTEN model has tremendously reduced Boda Boda accidents, boosted the savings culture through banking and in health, there is an increase of linking new HIV cases to treatment, increase use of condoms uptake for HIV prevention and reduction of HIV stigma, promotion of male circumcision and family planning.

National AIDS Control Council Dr Nduku Kilonzo praised Homabay County for good progress in HIV response in testing however she pointed that the number of men who are on treatment after testing is low compared to women and she challenged the county to come up with mechanisms that will encourage men to seek and adhere to treatment after testing.

The LISTEN model endeavours to see the countries such as Homabay County transition to an environment which shall integrate demographic dynamics into development planning in health at the county and sub-county levels to comprehensively respond to population and development issues, including population dynamics and its implications for human rights, dignity, quality of life, poverty eradication and sustainable development leading to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage.

Pro. Khama Rogo who was the keynote speaker during the workshop reiterated that health is at the centre of sustainable development goals and that health motivates everybody and challenged the counties in Kenya to approach health issues with open minds driven by innovation.

The workshop comes at a time when Kenya is transiting into a lower middle-income country, a move that will progressively make the country experience a shift in healthcare funding that relies on external donor financing towards domestic funding in areas such as HIV, TB, malaria, reproductive health and vaccines which have been heavily donor-funded. The country needs to engage in designing new ways that will scale up HIV response to sustain the gains made and continue reaching global and national goals, making sure that the future generation remains AIDS-free.

Ms. Regina Ombam, the Deputy Director HIV Investments at the National AIDS Control Council has been elected the new Vice Chair of the Global Fund Technical Review Panel

Ms. Regina Ombam, the Deputy Director HIV Investments at the National AIDS Control Council

Ms. Regina Ombam, the Deputy Director HIV Investments at the National AIDS Control Council has been elected the new Vice Chair of the Global Fund Technical Review Panel (TRP) for the period November 2019 to November 2021.

The Technical Review Panel is an independent pool of leading experts in HIV, TB, Malaria, Health Systems, Human Rights and Gender and Strategic Investments and Sustainable Financing who provide oversight during the processes of review of Country Proposals and Applications to the Global Fund and making determination on the quality of Global fund Investments positioned to achieve greatest impact in a wide variety of epidemiological and country contexts. Ms Ombam has been a member of the TRP Strategic Investments and Sustainable Financing team since 2017, based on her decade of experience in Health Systems Strengthening, Modelling, Health Policy, Planning and Financing.

It is an honour for the Kenya Health sector and particularly, the Kenya National AIDS Control Council and the country at large to have Ms. Ombam in the TRP leadership.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta lauds Kenya’s progress against the epidemic but warns of complacency

H.E The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during World AIDS Day 2019 Commemoration at Gusii Stadium, Kisii County.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has lauded stakeholders for Kenya’s strides against HIV and AIDS. Speaking during the 31st Commemoration of World AIDS Day at Gusii Stadium in Kisii County, The First Lady however warned of complacency urging for enhanced partnerships to jointly address barriers frustrating efforts towards ending AIDS by 2030.

‘Despite the progress made in tackling HIV and AIDS, many people continue to face challenges in accessing healthcare services, which are key to eliminating the disease,’ said the First Lady.

Reiterating her commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS the First Lady acknowledged the contribution by Communities to the Response that has seen the country make major strides. Among those recognized were the faith communities that have played a major role in advancing the HIV message in different congregations. She however decried high cases of new infections among young women and urged for concerted efforts and investments to address mother to child transmissions and help Kenya attain global targets.

‘Despite the progress made in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, the country is faced with new challenges of new HIV infections among adolescents and young women,’ She further said.

Cabinet Secretary for Health Sicily Kariuki while speaking at the same event said Kenya has, over the last 9 years reduced her new infection by 51% overally, the greatest achievement in the three decade struggle against the epidemic. ‘Kenya 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 %,’ said the Cabinet Secretary.

At the same event, the First Lady launched the Faith Sector Booklet; an activity that was marked across all counties in the presence of Religious Leaders. Developed by the Faith Sector Working Group with input from other religious leaders, the booklet is centred around nine thematic areas namely HIV knowledge, HIV prevention, HIV treatment, Care and support, stigma and discrimination, Universal Health Coverage, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Male engagement, Adolescents and Young People(AYP) engagement.

The booklet contains factual information and messages on HIV and AIDS and general health for congregants. Besides demystifying myths and misconceptions on HIV and AIDS, the messages shall also empower congregations on the epidemic. It targets faithfuls drawn from Christian, Islam, Hindu and Bahai communities.

The NACC CEO Dr Nduku Kilonzo conferred with the Presidential Honors of the Elder of the Burning Spear, EBS

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Dr Nduku Kilonzo, CEO, National AIDS Control Council in the 2019 Presidential Honors of the Elder of the Burning Spear, EBS on Jamhuri day. The NACC CEO was conferred with the Presidential Honors of the Elder of the Burning Spear for contribution to HIV prevention in Kenya and globally and eMTCT through Beyond Zero

The year 2019 is ending with blessings at the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) as the NACC CEO Dr Nduku Kilonzo was  bestowed with the Presidential Honors of the Elder of the Burning Spear, EBS on Jamhuru Day. The honors was conferred for contribution to HIV prevention in Kenya and globally and eMTCT through Beyond Zero.

Kenya has generally registered significant progress in the HIV response.  The 2018 Kenya AIDS Response Progress Report shows that the country demonstrated the return on investments in the HIV response in terms of reduced new infections, HIV related co-morbidities and deaths over the last 5 years with approximately 50% reduction of new infections among adults. Also, the country reduced mother to child transmission of HIV from 14% to 11% among HIV positive pregnant women.

The CEO said the award is a reflection of the collective work and effort of everyone in the Council – those who serve this beautiful country.  She quoted from the great world marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge saying “there is a formula; 100% of me is nothing compared to 1% of the whole team.  And that’s teamwork…That’s what I value… this statement by our great country man espouses my acknowledgment to you all and honor at being part of and leading the National AIDS Control Council team”.

 

New Guidelines to Mainstream Health and HIV in Infrastructure projects adopted

Kenya has continued to heavily invest in mega infrastructure projects to spur economic growth in the various sectors including Transport, Water and Sanitation, Energy and Housing. The development projects have variedly impacted the health status of the beneficiaries within localities where they are undertaken. Further, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) studies on projects have shown a huge impact on different health indicators including HIV and AIDS which legally should be factored in the project during the project design, implementation and overall monitoring. There has, however, been no legal and policy framework to safeguard the health and HIV interests.

It is against this back drop that the National AIDS Control Council through the department for HIV Investments led in the development of Guidelines for Mainstreaming Health and HIV interventions in Infrastructure Development Projects. The development process was through collaboration with state agencies undertaking infrastructure projects and the private sector. They include Kenya Airport Authority, State Department for Transport, African Development Bank, National Construction Authority, Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, International Labour Organization and Kenya National Urban Authority.

The guidelines provide a mechanism for state agencies and the private sector in addressing Health and AIDS related issues during the implementation of the mega projects. According to the studies, implementation of projects often increases income among workers, increases migration among the community, besides increasing sexual activities which often leads to a rise in new HIV infections.

In line with the principle of public participation the NACC led stakeholders in the validation of the guidelines to promote ownership among critical stakeholders drawn from different sectors undertaking the implementation of Government projects.

Validation of the Guidelines heralds a new chapter in the push for a sustainable financing for the HIV response. It’s envisaged that Project designers and developers will mainstream health and AIDS related issues in the entire project cycle in order to address emerging challenges. NACCs Deputy Director HIV Investments, Regina Ombam said, ‘’With the adoption of these guidelines and eventual roll out we envisage a reduction in prevalence, reduced HIV infections and improved health outcomes of the project beneficiaries along the infrastructure development corridor.”

Increased demand for HIV testing services characterize the on-going activations in Technical Colleges

The on-going activations in Technical colleges spearheaded by Communication Division in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Department of Vocational and Technical Training has been characterized by unprecedented increase in HIV testing services. The overwhelming demand for testing services and information clearly demonstrates that efforts geared towards reducing stigma perhaps are paying off especially among young people and adolescents.

Through the Communication Division the NACC is engaging students of four national polytechnics namely Kisumu, Sigalagala, Eldoret and Meru in phase one of the national sensitization programme. Tertiary institutions present a unique niche that has not been adequately covered with HIV programmes as the focus has mainly been on universities. The TVET institutions have also proved to be good ground based on their large populations, with institutions such as The Eldoret Polytechnic catering to over 15,000 students.

The sensitization cum advocacy programme seeks to empower students on the HIV response following startling statistics in the Kenya AIDS Response Progress Report of 2018 showing high infection rates among young people. The report cites stigma and ignorance as the main cause of new infections among this cohort. The one on one engagement has proven to be an effective way in demystifying myths and misconceptions on HIV among students. This is being complemented by exhibitions and distribution of Youth Friendly information materials to students geared towards enhancing knowledge and empowering the students.

The 5th Biennial Maisha HIV and AIDS Conference gives insights to HIV Response and UHC

The recently concluded Fifth Maisha HIV and AIDS Conference organized by the National AIDS Control Council and partners brought to the fore interesting insights in the implementation of Universal Health Coverage and ending HIV by 2030. Under the theme ‘Leveraging the HIV Response to Accelerate Impact for Universal Health Coverage’ the conference provided a platform for engagement with a focus on how to accelerate HIV prevention and the attainment of treatment targets, identifying opportunities and critical drivers for the HIV response that can be used to accelerate Universal Health Coverage targets.

 

Attracting approximately 850 participants from 35 countries around the globe, this year’s conference, which had been preceded by six pre-conference meetings, was lauded as the most successful. Delegates were drawn from Government institutions, Research institutions, Policy Makers, Civil society, Academia and Community of People Living with HIV and AIDS. Among the notable participants and presenters included  renowned Researcher Prof. Mark Dybul of the Center for Global Health and Practice for Impact – Georgetown University, Catherine Sozi, Regional Director for UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern Africa, and Directors of National AIDS Commissions from member of The Global AIDS Coalition.

A total of 17 panel sessions were held during the conference, including “The Status of HIV Research: Vaccine or Cure?”, “Emerging Prevention and Treatment Technologies: What is the Future?” “Sustainable Financing for HIV in the Context of UHC” as well as a session on “HIV, Sex, Drugs and Young People” which drew high numbers. These affirmed the HIV situation in Kenya, with the country leading research around the HIV vaccine and other prevention interventions, conversations on domestic financing taking the forefront, and the country’s alignment to the global agenda that puts the interests of young people in every aspect of HIV and AIDS Response.

Lauding the conference, Cabinet Secretary for Health Sicily Kariuki noted that reflections of the two day meeting in Nairobi would inform implementation of Universal Health Coverage under the Governments Big 4 Agenda.

‘I must commend the choice of this year’s theme, Leveraging the HIV Response to Accelerate Impact for UHC.” While UHC is increasingly a global goal, Kenya’s commitment is based on the realization of the potential to return huge health dividends for the country because of the focus on community health, preventive health and investments in health systems. It is this focus, common purpose and pulling together that the UHC agenda can draw lessons from,’’ said the CS.

Important Quotes:

‘Although we boast of registering impressive results against the epidemic, challenges abound. Eastern Africa region is one of the highly burdened with HIV and AIDS. New infections particularly among young people are quite disturbing. AIDS related deaths remain high. Even as we end this meeting we need to ask ourselves difficult questions and have a candid reflection on these issues as custodian and implementers of policies and programs.’ NACC Chairperson Ms. Angeline Siparo

“The two day meeting has taught us many lessons, highlighted challenges and provided solutions which will go a long way in guiding our response efforts at this critical time as we enter the final stretch of ending the epidemic. I am certain we are better equipped with necessary requisites to apply in our different jurisdictions against HIV.”-NACC C.E.O Dr. Nduku Kilonzo

The Maisha HIV and AIDS Conference culminated with a call for participants to shift from Evidenced based programs to systematic data driven segmentation & targeting of programs; move from resource mobilization around donor financing to more structured diversified resource partnerships & domestic financing; from coordinating multi-sectoral response to addressing challenges with stewardship on effective leadership; and to move from Governmental accountability to mutual accountability that ensures meaningful community engagements & inclusive governance.

National Health Financing Dialogue for implementation of the Health Sector Domestic Financing Sustainability Plan

DOMESTIC RESOURCE MOBILIZATION FOR HEALTH: NATIONAL HEALTH FINANCING DIALOGUE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE HEALTH SECTOR DOMESTIC FINANCING SUSTAINABILITY PLAN

The NACC CEO Dr. Nduku Kilonzo (In white top) and participants following keenly on discussions during the National Health Financing Dialogue for implementation of the Health Sector Domestic Financing Sustainability Plan that was held in Nairobi, Crown Plaza Hotel

The National AIDS Control Council (NACC) together with Global Fund – Kenya Coordinating Mechanism (GF-KCM) held a Policy Dialogue meeting early October 2018 in Crown Plaza Hotel, Nairobi to deliberate on the need for Domestic Resource Mobilization for Health geared towards building a Health Sector Domestic Financing Sustainability Plan.

The Government of Kenya has been heavily reliant on donor funding for Health programs for over ten years. For example, external financing towards HIV accounted for 73% of resources, 37% of TB spending and 12% of malaria spending in 2015. External funding from the US Government and from the Global Fund are expected to be substantial between 2018 – 2020 for the three diseases with external funding being roughly 1.2 times the Ministry of Health’s budget.

There are many challenges confronting the health sector in the area of financing and that is the reason the policy dialogue has become even more critical in light of escalated costs related to the provision of health services, the unpredictability of resource flows and the significant changes in the way external assistance is being financed and distributed in the health sector.

The National Health Financing Dialogue highlighted more critical issues in health care service delivery with a focus on efficiency and value for money as well as strengthening the country’s need for a the sustainable health financing mechanism. This is coming at a time when His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya has set a target of attaining 100% Universal Health Coverage(UHC)  over the next five years. This is in keeping with every Kenya’s right to quality and affordable health care, including reproductive and emergency health services as enshrined in the Constitution. In addition, the recently enacted Health Act 2017 mandates the Government of Kenya to ensure progressive financial access to UHC.

There is a clear recognition and increasing conversation about the need to diversify and expand the sources of domestic funding to ensure sustainable financing of the health sector and reduce dependence on development partners.  In 2014, the Kenyan economy was rebased and reclassified as a Lower Middle Income Country. The rebasing of the Kenyan economy means that Kenya should significantly increase resources for health from domestic sources, procure essential health related commodities at market prices and will no longer be eligible for World Bank IDA concessional loans.

Notably, domestic funding for the HIV, TB and malaria programs have been progressively increasing. The government is strongly committed to increasing its contribution to the health sector including the three disease programs over the 2018-2021 implementation phase as well. The increasing focus on universal health coverage through improved domestic financing for health is articulated through the ‘Second Medium Term Plan of Kenya, Vision 2030’, ‘Kenya Health Policy, 2014–2030’, and ‘Kenya Health Sector Strategic And Investment Plan (KHSSP) July 2014 – June 2018’.  It is also worth noting that the Kenya 2030 vision provides for increase of the Government expenditure on health from 8% in 2016 to 12% by 2017/18. This was expected to greatly narrow the funding gaps.

Kenya’s disease responses face three key long-term transition challenges. The first is replacing donor funding, a second is closing the resource gap even when external resources are available in the health sector and a third is ensuring the efficient delivery of health services. To address these challenges and ensure that disease responses are financed, the following key recommendations were proposed:

  1. Integrating sustainability and transition issues into routine health financing discussions between the Ministry of Health and the National Treasury official at the national and county levels.
  2. Specifying the national and county roles with respect to program activities that will be transitioned the short, medium and long term.
  3. Ensuring efficiency is a central focus in the sustainability and transition planning for the three diseases.
  4. Ensuring the health financing functions are aligned with public financial management and analysed at the program level.
  5. Ensure all government stakeholders adopt ‘urgent incrementalism’ in ensuring step-wise annual progress on which aspects of programs will be transitioned to the government of Kenya for funding. A forecast could be developed for a 10 year period.

This Policy dialogue interrogated these recommendations further with the aim of developing and finalizing a road map for implementation of the country’s domestic financing sustainability plan for health. The discussions focused on increasing domestic financing for health and reflected on the advocacy plan for the same. This will help in forming consensus on government health financing priorities and next steps to ensuring robust funding is available to meet not only the programmatic gaps for the AIDS, TB and Malaria programs but the entire health sector programmes. security and medicare

The deliberations also pointed at the need to provide a platform for which the key Kenya stakeholders including government, civil society, NGOs as well as partners to discuss and showcase mechanisms to increase domestic resources for health in the effort to achieve Kenya’s goals towards universal health coverage and also develop the Transition roadmap for implementation of the country’s domestic financing sustainability plan for health.

The dialogue successfully brought key stakeholders of public sector financing and health financing, the Ministries of Health, Finance and Planning, Members of Parliament, civil society partners, development and other technical partners and if you want to more of this Check out doctorpaydayloans.co.uk.

Click the links below to read the Policy Issue papers on:

  1. Co-financing Commitments and Strategy: The HIV, TB and Malaria Replacement Challenge
  2. UHC Delivery for Kenya
  3. Unlocking Investors’ Potential in the delivery of UHC in Kenya

Leveraging on Communities and Improving Use of Data to Advance Universal Health Coverage and HIV Prevention

Governor Ferdinand Waititu (in a checked shirt) hosted a team of representatives from Georgetown University Medical Center – A Center for Global Health and Quality led by Prof. Mark Dybul, a Co-Chair of Center for Global Health and Quality at Georgetown University and National AIDS Control Council team led by the CEO Dr. Nduku Kilonzo (middle) at the county’s headquarters.

The National AIDS Control Council in partnership with the Georgetown University Medical Center – A Center for Global Health and Quality is piloting a Business Process for Impact (BPI) model that will scale up HIV and Universal Health Care (UHC) results through a Human Centered Design (HDC) approach.  BPI will focus on supporting the coordination of youth led HIV programmers to promote good health choices and uptake of health services among Kenya’s Adolescents and Young People (AYP) in Kiambu and Homabay counties for two years.

During the inception visits to the two counties that took place from 8th to 10th August, 2018 by the Georgetown University Medical Center representatives together with National AIDS Control Council team led by NACC CEO Dr. Nduku Kilonzo, the leadership of these counties showed support for the Business Process for Impact.

In Kiambu County, Governor Fedinand Waititu together with the presentation of the key county health management representatives cited alcoholism as one of the key socio dynamic issue that contribute to increase of new HIV infections among AYPs, an issue that the county is struggling with and cited the Business Process for Impact is an initiative that will bring along various stakeholders in reversing the trend of increase of new HIV infections among the AYPs in the county.

Also in Homabay County, deputy Governor Hamilton Orata welcomed the process as he cited that previously, a lot of money and resources have been poured in the county for HIV response related activities with no tangible results and the county continues to struggle with increase of new HIV infections, a challenge he attributed to lack of framework of monitoring the activities of various programmers on the ground and he sees the BPI process as the only way that will bring on board various stakeholders in a systematic way and monitor their activities in order to boost results in HIV response.

Prof. Mark Dybul (left), a Co-Chair of Center for Global Health and Quality at Georgetown University making a point on the Business Process for Impact model to the representatives of the county health management team led by deputy governor Hamilton Orata (center) in the presence of the NACC CEO Dr. Nduku Kilonzo (2nd left) during the inception visit in Homabay County.

BPI will see data driven decision making in all levels of health system, promoting innovation and develop systematic linkage of Communities of Practice (CoPs), creating energetic and empowered layers in both private and public sector from the grassroots level that will inform the top county management in making decisions that will promote community prevention and care delivery in HIV that will eventually heighten the attainment of the Universal Health Care.

According to Prof. Mark Dybul, a Co-Chair of Center for Global Health and Quality at Georgetown University, Kenya has tremendously achieved in various innovations and the BPI approach will go a long way in bridging the gap to building mechanisms that will capture such innovations through coordination, information sharing and make use of the available data that will build accountability mechanisms and reporting in HIV response specifically among the AYPs.

During the courtesy call to Homabay County government, the National AIDS Control Council CEO, Dr. Nduku Kilonzo reiterated the benefits of the model in HIV response in the counties saying that “it will not only coordinate external partners but also bring coordination within communities and strengthen communication across different level of government – a two-way communication between communities and the governance leadership”.

Drawing from effectiveness in networking Communities of Practice (CoPs) in healthcare, BPI will identify and develop formal networks from various professional disciples and existing service delivery structures such as Comprehensive Care Clinics that provides comprehensive care where people living with HIV and AIDS go for holistic care and management, creating a two-way flow of data and information.

During the pilot phase, the CoPs who have focus on HIV programming for the Adolescents and Young People (AYP) will be drawn from various stakeholders including community based organizations, community health workers, groups and networks of persons living with HIV or young people, non-government organizations and health providers including nurses and public health officers, either in their various homogenous groups or as mixed groups.

The BPI will use the Human Centered Design (HCD) in developing the CoPs in the counties.  HCD is a concept that is gaining momentum globally as it seeks to accelerate the development of locally effective solutions as seen in international health and development projects such as family planning and comprehensive sanitation systems.  Currently, in Kenya, the use of HCD methods in public health remains minimal yet its broader application of HCD to CoPs of providers and policymakers has yielded important results globally. The use of HCD to enhance the use of data that will boost development and adoption of locally relevant innovations for health in the two counties and a model that is expected to be applied in other counties in Kenya.

Currently, NACC has made available Kenya HIV situation room in all counties and is accessible to county leadership and programmers. The Kenya HIV situation room facilitates tracking of key HIV indicators at national and county levels and is also configured to mine data from key monitoring and evaluation systems in Kenya such as DHIS and other public and private sector systems.  BPI will leverage on the system to help find solutions, communicate action and seek innovative ways to ensure that there is consistent action towards results in HIV response among the AYPs, through networking and providing opportunities that will drive systematic change and accelerate better health outcomes that will eventually promote UHC.

During the inception visit in Kiambu and Homabay counties the NACC team was led by CEO Dr. Nduku Kilonzo and the Georgetown University Medical Center was presented by Prof. Mark Dybul, a Co-Chair of Center for Global Health and Quality at Georgetown University, Prof. Susan Kim and Stephen Kretschmer, an expert consultant on Human Centered Design.  The visits also included Mbagathi Hospital Comprehensive care clinic and the AHF Center of Comprehensive Care Clinic in Nairobi’s Eastleigh, located east of the capital’s central business center and WOFAK – an NGO that is in the forefront in fighting HIV and AIDS in Homabay and finally paid the courtesy call to the Homabay County Commissioners office.

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