In March 2011, the Kenyan National AIDS Control Council prepared a Cabinet memorandum that outlines ways to raise funds for HIV programming. Through innovative solutions, Kenya is looking for sustainable ways to combat the AIDS epidemic in country.
The memo is based on a recommendation from the USAID-funded Health Systems 20/20’s HIV/AIDS Program Sustainability Tool (HAPSAT) assessment.
Two government staff who helped prepare the memo tell us how it will help Kenya’s 1.5 million citizens living with HIV.
Regina Ombam, head of strategy for Kenya National AIDS Control Council (NACC), leads planning, implementation and evaluation of HIV programs. As part of the Cabinet memo initiative, she managed the process of gathering relevant health financing data on behalf of the director of NACC. Ms. Ombam holds master’s degrees in economics and public administration.
Irene Mukui is the antiretroviral therapy (ART) program manager for the National AIDS and STI Control Programme. She oversees the provision of ART and other associated care (i.e., nutrition, TB/HIV integration, etc.) for both children and adults in Kenya. Dr. Mukiu was a member of the technical working group that developed the Cabinet memo. She is a licensed medical doctor.
HS20/20: What does the Cabinet memorandum propose to raise funds for HIV programming?
RO: The Cabinet memo proposes that the Ministry of Finance create a HIV/AIDS Trust Fund that would support scaling up prevention, treatment, care and support in Kenya. If approved, the government would contribute 1% of its annual revenue to the fund. In addition, the fund would receive contributions from partners and the private sector through initiatives such as airtime and airline levies, levies on remittances from abroad, corporate and NGO donations, the national lottery system, and leveraging unclaimed financial assets (i.e., monies that are dormant or abandoned often as a result of death, name change, or relocation). The Ministry of State for Special Programmes, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, and the Ministry for Medical Services would implement HIV programming supported by the fund.
IM: The Cabinet memo aims to establish long-term, sustainable financing through the existing National Health Insurance Fund and increase government funding to meet the Abuja target of allocating 15% of the annual budget to health.
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