Event of the Month December 2017
NEPHAK opened December 2017 by joining partners and stakeholders under the leadership of the ministries of health to commemorate the World AIDS Day event at national and county levels. The networks engagement at the event was aimed at the voices and visibility of communities was heard alongside that of the government and other partners. As is the tradition, NEPHAK leadership developed a World AIDS Day Statement that was to be read at the national and county levels. The statement that can be found here: WAD-2017-Statement-NEPHAK.pdf called on the Kenya Government and the Ministry of Health to deliver on the promise of universal health care for all Kenyans with emphasizing that, “the improvement of health and well-being of communities, including people living with, at risk of and affected by HIV can only be guaranteed through HIV – sensitive universal health coverage.”
NEPHAK World AIDS Day 2017 call was inspired by the theme of ‘My Health; My Right’ which, best captured the aspirations of universal health coverage. Although NEPHAK recognize that Health is a human right the entire PLHIV Community also know that we have a long way to go until everyone—no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have—can get the quality health care they need and deserve. The call for universal health coverage is also inspired by the Kenya 2010 constitution (Article 43).
The other action taken by NEPHAK on World AIDS Day 2017 was to send letter to the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu urging for the fast tracking of the roll-out of Dolutegravir based treatment to PLHIV. The letter, which can be found here: CS-MOH-Letter was following an earlier one sent to the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health with the same call. See: DTG-Letter-to-KCM-Chair
The call to fast track the roll-out of DTG is informed by the clinical evidence that DTG is superior to all other first line treatments currently in use in Kenya. If anything, the Kenya Ministry of Health in 2016 included DTG into its ART treatment guidelines. And this is the other key event that NEPHAK engaged in in December after invitation by NASCOP to deliberate on the HIV Treatment Guidelines review. This was in a workshop to deliberate on the updating of the 2016 guidelines to reflect the newer ARVs in treatment/prevention regimens and update other related guideline areas. The objective of the workshop was to synthesis the available evidence and come up with guideline proposals which reflect a public health approach to HIV prevention and treatment.
The last key event for December was the co-hosting of the high level panel to commemorate the 2017 universal health coverage Day alongside the Kenya Medical Association and other CSOs. The event also marked the unveiling of the CSOs Roadmap for Accelerated UHC Advocacy. The roadmap is being worked on by a team of CSOs that include: HENNET; WACI-Health; AHF-Kenya; Kenya Medical Association; KANCO; KELIN; NEPHAK and the Stop TB Partnership-Kenya.
December was also the month to undertake assessment and document lessons and case studies arising from the various projects NEPHAK has been implementing. Such projects have mainly been supported by the Global Fund under the Funding Model and included TB project in partnership with AMREF Health in Africa and Vihiga County Government and the HIV project in partnership with the Kenya Red Cross Society and the county governments of Kakamega and Machakos.