September 29, 2020

Donor Threatens to Withdraw HIV Funds In Coast

Global Fund, Image: (Courtesy)

By DAMA KALAMA

Email: thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Key players in the health sector at the Coast have called on the government to tame corruption at the ministry of health to avert health crisis should Donors withdraw their support to HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria programs.
For weeks now, the rot at Afya house has refused to leave the headlines, with every ugly twist and turn of the COVID-19 scandal attracting donor’s attention especially on HIV/Aids and Tuberculosis funding.
The Global Fund and USAID are threatening to withdraw funds that were to support HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria programs for the next three years. 
The players have demanded that the government urgently show commitment in fghting graft by plugging loopholes in the system that promote the vice
“We feel concerned with the level of corruption in the ministry of health, Its our fear that if the donor support on HIV/Aids is withdrawn, a very huge population especially in Mombasa will suffer. Our appeal that the government ends corruption,” said Opiyo from Dream Achievers Youth Organisation
Speaking at the Mvita Sub-county Clinic when they distributed foodstuffs to about 100 youth infected with HIV/Aids, officials drawn from Dream Achievers Youth Organisation and Aids healthcare foundation AHF are concerned that HIV/Aids victims are at risk during this Covid-19 period due to poor diets.
On revealed that the initiative targets 300 HIV/Aids victims in Mombasa county to Cushion them from the Ills of poor nutrition that may be at risk during this Covid-19 period. 
Opiyo noted that just like any other underlying factors affecting Covid-19 patients,HIV patients are the most at risk.

Joseph Wachira,AHF Coast regional prevention program coordinator said it was mportant that the young people living with HIV are heard, in order to support them with interventions that cushion them from the impact of COVID-19.
“People with HIV are viewed as a potentially vulnerable group when it comes to contacting Covid-19,and with this kind of interventions, they can be cushioned from the disease by ensuring they get foods rich in vitamins,” Wachira said. 

Dream Acheivers youth Organisation and AHF Kenya staff recently. Image: (Courtesy)

Mvita Sub-county medical officer Dr.Khadija Awadh said the relief food will be distributed to all Sub-county hospitals in Mombasa, so that those who seek HIV services in the hospitals can be given the foodstuffs and detergents as a help to combat Covid-1
Awadh said the majority of HIV patients had stopped attending hospitals and this she says poses a major risk to the healthcare system. 
She attributes the decline for fear of contracting Covid-19 as well as stigmatization from the community.
“We have witnessed decline in search of HIV related services and I think it may be as a result of the fear of contracting the Corona Virus,” said Awadha upon receiving the foodstuffs from DAYO and AHF organizations to cushion HIV victims on Thursday.

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