On 23 July in Nairobi, Kenya, WACI Health and KANCO hosted CSOs from Kenya who were joined by GFAN Africa representatives from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Rwanda and Tanzania for a candid discussion on the 6th Replenishment of the Global Fund and Domestic Resources for Health. The event – a panel discussion by representatives of communities, youth, civil society, and embassy of France, the Global Fund and Government discussed Kenya’s health financing status and why the Global Fund is a worthwhile investment.
There was emphasis on the need for a successful 6th replenishment of The Global Fund because it is efficient and effective. In addition a successful replenishment will contribute to:
- Reduce mortality from HIV, TB and malaria
- Saving millions of lives
- Reduce and avert new infections
Inaction will result in the loss of millions of lives and loss of gains made so far.
Participants thanked France for its leadership by offering to host the replenishment conference scheduled for 9 October 2019 in Lyon, France and for calling on other donors to step up their fight in order to ensure a successful replenishment.
France is a big investor in the Global Fund because the Fund’s work saves and improves lives. “Increasing funding for the replenishment of the Global Fund will move us to a better place in healthcare. Tax payers in France, sacrifice for others to improve their lives through better health’ Said Dr Pierre Bello – Health Advisor, Embassy of France. He added that Kenya has a strong political will for a successful UHC and must take advantage of the external funding opportunities, to build stronger and stable systems of healthcare.
Through the support of the Global Fund, Kenya has better healthcare – systems, disease interventions and programs for the most vulnerable populations. Support to Kenya reaches those who need it – communities. Grace Adego, a community health volunteer – a panelist expressed her gratitude for the free ARVs she receives.
Regina Ombam – the Deputy Director, HIV Investments National AIDS Control Council noted that Kenya is a lower middle income country so donor financing is gradually dwindling. There is need for increased allocation of domestic resources for health so that existing funding gaps do not grow bigger. She noted that the Government of Kenya is increasing health financing and giving healthcare more attention and focus.
Ms Obam challenged those present:
- To think of the possibility of a replenishment conference for Kenya – with Kenya government & stakeholders, to discuss the health of Kenyans and how to fund it in future.
- That civil society should keep government in check more vigorously
- Civil society voices are needed to end corruption in public finance management systems and to push for more resources.
- There should be emphasis of integration within Government to stop wastage while implementing healthcare interventions.
- The private sector should play a bigger role in complementing healthcare financing.
- The Government should consider entering into social contracts with major funders of health programmes
- There should be focus on disease prevention
Ms Fahe Kerubo a young girl note that HIV interventions are commendable. However, infections among adolescent girls and young women remain unacceptably high. Increased funding for health should address this challenge. The youth must be prioritized and put at the center of the HIV response.
There was a rallying call for additional resources for health from donors and the Government of Kenya and other implementing countries. The need for preventing healthcare was emphasized. Increased focus on health will lead towards a successful UHC and progress towards SDG3 on the health and wellbeing of all.