On 23 July in Nairobi, Kenya, WACI Health and KANCO hosted CSOs from Kenya who were joined by GFAN Africarepresentatives from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Tanzania for a candid discussion on the 6thReplenishment 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 the ways in which the Global Fund is a worthwhile investment.
There was emphasis on the need for a successful 6th Replenishment of the Global Fund because has a strong record of achieving effective and accountable results with donor funding.
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, millions of new infections, and a worldwide backslide on gains made against these three epidemics to date.
Participants thanked France for its leadership in hosting the 6thReplenishment 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 has been a major investor in the Global Fund. “Increasing funding for the replenishment of the Global Fund will move us to a better place in healthcare. Taxpayers in France, sacrifice for others to improve their lives through better health” said Dr Pierre Bello, Health Advisor, Embassy of France in Kenya. He added that Kenya has a strong political will for a successful UHC and must take advantage of the external funding opportunities to be able to build stronger and more stable healthcare systems.
Through the support of the Global Fund, Kenya has improved its healthcare systems, and has increased its disease interventions and programs for the most vulnerable populations. Support to Kenya reaches those who need it most – communities. Grace Adego, a community health volunteer and a panelist at this event, expressed her gratitude for the free ARVs she receives.
Regina Ombam, Deputy Director, HIV Investments National AIDS Control Council, noted that as a lower-middle income country, Kenya’s donor financing is gradually dwindling. As such, there is need for increased allocation of domestic resources for health to ensure that existing funding gaps do not grow. She also noted that the Government of Kenya is increasing health financing and giving healthcare more attention and focus.
Ms Ombam challenged those present:
- To think of the possibility of a replenishment conference for Kenya with Kenya government and 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 on 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 programs;
- There should be focus on disease prevention.
Ms Fahe Kerubo, a young girl, noted that while HIV interventions are commendable, infections among adolescent girls and young women remain unacceptably high. Increased funding for health should address this challenge, and Kenya’s youth must be at the center of the HIV response.
There was a rallying call for additional resources for healthcare from donors, the Government of Kenya, and other implementing countries. Increased focus on healthcare will lead to a successful UHC and progress towards SDG3 goals for the health and wellbeing of all.