Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko speaks during the Cities Global Forum in London on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, /COURTESY
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on Wednesday secured Sh500m donor funding from an international NGO to help fight against HIV-Aids in Kenya.
The funds from the Elton John Foundation will go towards the provision of self-testing kits in a programme aimed at stopping new HIV infections by 2030.
“I’m delighted with the new initiative by the Elton John Foundation that will boost our efforts in the fight against the scourge that was declared a national disaster by the government,” Sonko said.
Speaking in London during the Aids-free cities global forum, Sonko said his administration is committed to eliminating the spread of the disease.
During the global forum, the Nairobi City County Government also joined two other cities, London and Atlanta, to sign a commitment to accelerate the 2014 Paris declaration aimed at stopping new HIV infections by 2030.
“There is political goodwill coupled with good budgetary allocation to curb the spread of HIV-Aids in Nairobi City,” Sonko said.
He said his administration has increased the number of Comprehensive Care Centres from 169 to 203 and the elimination of mother-to-child transmission sites from 180 to 302 in an effort aimed at stopping the spread of the disease.
The Governor also added that Tuberculosis patients in Nairobi who are on free ARV treatment have increased from 80 per cent to 91 per cent and the number of persons tested for HIV from half a million to over one million.
“We have ensured the necessary political goodwill is available and provided strong leadership with a specific commitment to increased HIV budget allocation. My new Minister of Health is also the Vice Chair of the National HIV Tribunal to demonstrate our commitment to achieving our 2020 targets and ending AIDS by 2030,” Sonko said.
He said as a government and with the support of development partners, they have developed The Nairobi City HIV-Aids Strategic Plan in line with the Kenya Aids Strategic Framework within a year of signing the Paris Declaration.
“We have also developed a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework for HIV for 2018 to 2021,” the governor said.
Sonko said they have also ensured strong partnership and coordination of stakeholders to realise increased private sector involvement on HIV matters.
The forum was attended by officials from the UK and US led by Ann Aslett from Elton John Foundation, Robb Pitts, the Chairman of Folton County of Commissioners and other delegates.
Aslett remained optimistic that Kenya is able to achieve the Paris 2014 declaration on zero HIV infections by 2030.
Others in attendance were chairman of Folton County Board of Commissioners Robb Pitts, Nairobi City County Government deputy County Secretary, acting Health executive Charles Kerich, Chief of Staff Peter Mugo, Roysambu MCA and Nairobi Assembly Health Committee Chairman Peter Warutere.