Blow for Kenya as donors suspend Sh5bn for Aids, malaria

The move comes barely a year after USAid suspended its funding of key Ministry of Health programmes.

Global Fund, the international financing organisation, cut donor funding for HIV/Aids by Sh3.1 billion. The fund’s support for tuberculosis has also been cut by Sh1.4 billion and that of malaria is down by Sh400 million.

The cash is mainly used to buy life saving medicines for HIV/Aids, TB and malaria — the three infectious diseases that are among the leading causes of deaths in Kenya. Reasons behind the cut in donor support remain unknown.

Global Fund's move comes barely a year after the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) indefinitely suspended its funding of key Ministry of Health programmes.

Corruption

The financier had expressed concern over poor accounting in the Ministry of Health amid fears over corruption.

The latest cash cutback is likely to further derail Kenya's efforts in curbing the three diseases.

Official data released on Wednesday indicates that deaths from malaria rose last year for the first time in more than a decade as HIV/Aids fatalities continue to drop on increased use of ARV drugs.

Deaths from malaria rose 9.7 per cent to 17,553 as those from HIV/Aids dropped to 8,758, from 9,471 in 2016 and 12,235 in 2014.

Fatalities from tuberculosis nearly doubled from 4,735 cases in 2016 to 9,081 last year.

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