USAID/Kenya is one of the agency’s largest health programs and is one of 8 countries selected as a Global Health Initiative (GHI) focus country under President Obama’s 6-year, US$63 billion health initiative. The Office of Population and Health comprises four key program areas: HIV/AIDS, family health, health sector systems strengthening, and malaria. This program is achieving significant results and providing lessons to the rest of Africa on how to successfully and sustainably improve health service delivery and usage. USAID works with the Government of Kenya (GOK) at both national and local levels to strengthen health systems by improving health policy, logistics (including commodity procurement), human resources and monitoring and evaluation systems. USAID/Kenya also works through provincial and district government structures to improve the availability, quality of and access to HIV/AIDS, reproductive health/family planning (RH/FP), tuberculosis (TB) and malaria services. USAID/Kenya also works closely with other U.S. Government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve health care in Kenya.
USAID/Kenya works through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to combat the epidemic in Kenya in close partnership with the GOK. PEPFAR’s program in Kenya, which was launched in 2003, represents one of the largest U.S. Government investments in HIV globally. USAID/Kenya’s HIV/AIDS program supports a wide variety of activities for prevention, care and support, and treatment in every province of the country and includes testing and counseling, and the management of strategic information among other interventions. As a result of USAID and its fellow U.S. Government agencies’ efforts, Kenyans have increased access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care services. In the area of treatment, for example, approximately 360,000 individuals were on anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy by May 2010. USAID/Kenya also supports comprehensive, evidence-based prevention programs informed by rigorous analysis of Kenya’s AIDS epidemic. HIV prevention continues to promote behavior change among young people by emphasizing delayed sexual debut and reduced numbers of sexual partners. The prevention program is closely coordinated with counseling and testing activities. There are over 1,000 testing sites in Kenya targeted to the general population as well as groups who are most at risk. Both voluntary and healthcare worker-initiated counseling and testing programs are supported as part of this effort. USAID/Kenya’s care and support program focuses on HIV palliative care, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), nutrition, home-based care, and TB/HIV services to ensure a continuum of care for HIV infected/affected individuals.
USAID/Kenya’s support to the country’s fight against TB ensures that drugs are delivered to health facilities to expand and enhance the national treatment and detection strategy. This support has helped Kenya surpass the World Health Organization (WHO) TB targets of detecting 70% of the total estimated number of cases and successfully treating 80% of patients.
USAID has supported family planning in Kenya for thirty years, prioritizing the increase of quality, access, and utilization of services and highlighting long acting and permanent methods (LAPM). Service delivery support includes the provision of intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs); social marketing of contraceptives; post-abortion care; decentralized supervision and training systems for reproductive health and family planning (RH/FP) services and GOK health trainers. USAID provides support for the commodity supply chain, advocacy, policy and financial management technical assistance, operations research, capacity building in research, and national monitoring surveys such as the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). In 2010, USAID announced that its funding for FP/RH activities in Kenya would rise to $29 million – an increase of over $18 million from 2007. The additional resources will assist the one out of every four Kenyan women who wants to space or limit her births but is not using FP/RH services.
Health Systems Strengthening
USAID/Kenya’s Health System Strengthening (HSS) team works principally in the following areas: health workforce, supply chain management, financing, leadership and governance. A comprehensive strategy to strengthen all cadres of health workers is being implemented focusing on the inter-related elements of recruitment, retention, training, and supervision. USAID/Kenya is also making significant investments to improve the supply chain management for HIV, malaria and family planning commodities. In the area of health financing, support is being provided to strengthen program planning and budgeting by the Ministries of Health at both national and regional levels. In leadership and governance, USAID/Kenya and other donors will support the GOK to review and develop a revised Health Policy Framework that will incorporate the longer term view of the health sector as armother and baby under a bed net treated to prevent malariaticulated in the GOK’s Vision 2030 document.
Kenya is one of fifteen countries in the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). This program, which began as a five-year, $1.2 billion effort to strengthen global malaria prevention and treatment programs, is implemented by USAID, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of State, Peace Corps and the U.S. Military’s Walter Reed Malaria Research Unit. Malaria is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Kenya and an estimated 34,000 children die from this disease every year. PMI is doubling its resources for Kenya in 2010 and will continue to support four key interventions to prevent and treat malaria in the country: spraying with insecticides (indoor residual spraying); providing insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs); buying and distributing lifesaving drugs; and treating pregnant women (“intermittent preventive treatment,” or IPTp).