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Sonko secures Sh500m funding for HIV self-testing kits


Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on Wednesday secured Sh500m from an international NGO to help fight against HIV/AIDS in Kenya.

The funds from the Elton John Foundation will go towards provision of self-testing kits in a programme aimed at stopping new HIV infections by 2030.

Speaking in London during the AIDS-Free Cities Global Forum, Mr Sonko said his administration is committed to eliminating the spread of the disease.

“I’m delighted with the new initiative by the Elton John Foundation that will largely boost our efforts in the fight against the scourge that was declared a national disaster by the government,” said Sonko.

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.

‘POLITICAL GOODWILL’

“There is political goodwill coupled with good budgetary allocation to curb the spread of HIV/Aids in Nairobi City,” added Sonko.

The Governor further added that Tuberculosis (TB) patients in Nairobi who are on free Anti-retroviral 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 1 million.

The Nairobi Governor said as a government and with support of development partners, they have developed The Nairobi City HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan in line with the Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework (KASF) within 1 year of signing the Paris Declaration.

“We have also developed a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for HIV for 2018 to 2021,” said Sonko during his speech before the delegates attending the conference.

STRONG PARTNERSHIP

Sonko said they have also ensured strong partnership and coordination of stakeholders to realize increased private sector involvement on HIV matters.

“We have also established City Multi-sectoral HIV Committee that meets quarterly to review reports from technical working committees which dealing with issues,” said Sonko.

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.

In his speech Aslett remained optimistic that Kenya is able to achieve the Paris 2014 declaration on zero HIV infections by 2030.

“I wish to thank Nairobi City County Governor Mike Sonko for his commitment towards realizing the Paris 2014 declaration. Our foundation is determined to also help Nairobi City achieve zero HIV infections by 2030.