In Summary
  • Even though the government doubled its funding to HIV since 2006, about three quarter of the national HIV response was externally funded.
  • Barasa noted that most counties are also likely to spend money on hospitals but rarely on dispensaries and community-level preventive medicine.

Although data from the Ministry of Health shows that pneumonia, malaria and cancer are Kenya’s top killer diseases, a great deal of attention has been focused on HIV/Aids, largely because it is a lifestyle disease.

And according to UNAIDS, Kenya has one of the largest HIV epidemic in the world after Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa, Mozambique and Uganda.

Dr Melsa Lutomia, the county executive of health in Busia said that HIV/Aids has a major detrimental impact on the economy and the society, hence the attention that it has been given.

She dismissed claims that the attention has anything to do with a donor-driven agenda.

“We cannot call it ‘over focus’ because we have not taken our eyes off other diseases such as diarrheal diseases,” she told the Saturday Nation.

BUDGET

Citing her county where HIV prevalence has risen to 7.7 percent from 6.7 percent according to the latest data from National Aids Control Council (Nacc), she said that there is need for more attention on HIV.

Her counterpart from Makueni, Dr Andrew Mulwa, said the country has made huge strides against the other killer diseases — pneumonia, malaria and cancer — due to aggressive campaigns, especially on immunisation in the case of pneumonia.

Makueni, he said, has allocated money aside to HIV and other diseases based on need and severity.

Dr Mulwa, who is also the chair of the caucus of health executives, said that while each county has unique health needs, HIV/Aids is an issue of priority for many counties.

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