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[caption id="attachment_6575" align="aligncenter" width="887"] NACC CEO Dr Nduku Kilonzo, EBS, addressing leaders from Kiambu County during a training on Sustainable Health Financing and Governance held in Naivasha.[/caption]
The National AIDS Control Council (NACC) CEO Dr Nduku Kilonzo today addressed the leadership of Kiambu county during a two-day training on Sustainable Health Financing and Governance in Naivasha organized by the NACC.
In her remarks, Dr Nduku noted that despite the significant progress that Kiambu county has contributed in the reduction of HIV infections in the country, there exist significant future challenges that needs to be addressed such as prevention of ill health, strengthen governance in coordinating partners and resources and integration of services that are defined by Kiambu county. She said that this can be achieved through the Local Initiatives Spread Through Enterprise Networking (LISTEN) model that brings the notion that communities take the lead in addressing their needs, putting communities at the centre to the HIV response.
Kiambu county is currently piloting LISTEN that seeks to achieve great impact, sustain gains made and address challenges in HIV response by providing data-driven decision making and strategically maximizing existing resources already available. The CEO said “addressing these challenges will provide opportunities in achieving the Universal Health Coverage through the LISTEN model that will safeguard the gains made in HIV response.
The training of Kiambu leadership is part of the LISTEN model processes that tends to enhance the county leadership and management skills for the HIV program devoted to delivering HIV services by bringing together various representatives in county leadership, promoting the focus of a collective action to strengthen health systems and expanding quality health services including HIV, leading to better and sustainable health outcomes.
The LISTEN model is implemented by the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Practice and Impact (CGHPI), the process (originally called the Business Process for Impact or BPI) is being piloted in Eswatini, Kenya and Malawi from 2018.
The leadership of Kiambu county was led by CECM Health services Mary Kamau, COH Dr David Kamundia, CDH Dr David Ndegwa, all directors in health services, health committee members from the County Assembly and health workers. The CEO’s parting short emphasis on prevention as the only cost-effective strategy and she said: “you can ignore everything in life but you cannot ignore health and investing in prevention is the only cost-effective strategy for the success of Universal Health Coverage”.
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!
[caption id="attachment_6513" align="aligncenter" width="827"] 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.[/caption] 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. [caption id="attachment_6514" align="aligncenter" width="6016"] 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.[/caption] 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
[caption id="attachment_6487" align="aligncenter" width="277"] Ms. Regina Ombam, the Deputy Director HIV Investments at the National AIDS Control Council[/caption] 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.
[caption id="attachment_6483" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] H.E The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during World AIDS Day 2019 Commemoration at Gusii Stadium, Kisii County.[/caption] 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.