Kenya gets Sh1.3b US grant for public health labs

Friday November 13 2015

Patients await medical check-ups during the launch of the Kenya Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey for 2015-2016 in Mshomoroni, Mombasa County, on September 25, 2015.

Patients await medical check-ups during the launch of the Kenya Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey for 2015-2016 in Mshomoroni, Mombasa County, on September 25, 2015. The US has given the Kenyan government a five-year Sh1.3 billion grant to strengthen public health facilities’ ability to handle infectious diseases. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JAMES KARIUKI
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The US has given the Kenyan government a five-year Sh1.3 billion grant to strengthen public health facilities’ ability to handle infectious diseases.

The money will be used to equip public health laboratories and train medical staff.

The collaboration, named "Boresha Maabara" (improve laboratory services), is between the Kenya government and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It seeks to enhance diagnostic testing for the prevention, surveillance and treatment of infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, and other HIV-related opportunistic infections.

The five-year programme, to be overseen by Dr Sylvia Ojoo, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland's Institute of Human Virology (IHV), will be undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Laboratory Services and the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service.

INFECTIOUS DISEASES

“IHV continues to serve as a true global leader who can effectively partner with varying foreign governments and public-private sector entities to combat infectious disease,” said the Institute’s director, Prof Robert Gallo, who is widely known for his co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS and the development of the HIV blood test.

IHV’s Division of Clinical Care and Research, jointly with Kenya’s Ministry of Health and the University of Nairobi, have launched a locally developed national HIV integrated training on-site course for health workers.

The course, aimed at reducing the cost of training, replaces the more than 20 different curriculums used to train health workers, who had to stay away from work for several days to undertake the course.