by VR Sreeraman on  November 13, 2007 at 6:17 PM AIDS/HIV News
Global Fund to Assist Kenya to Fight Against AIDS With $132 Million
The Global Fund on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved a grant of 132.3 million dollars (90.7 million euros) to boost Kenya's anti-HIV/AIDS drive, the health ministry announced Tuesday.

The grant will finance programmes over the next five years, but an initial amount of 47.1 million dollars (32.3 million euros) will be released in the first two years, said health ministry permanent secretary Hezron Nyangito.

"The new grant to Kenya is targeted to provide ARV treatment with inclusion of a nutrition component, strengthening of health systems and strategic communication," he said.

The grant brings the total funding for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis programmes in Kenya to 306 million dollars (210 million euros) since the fund was created in 2002.

Kenya's official AIDS prevalence rate is 5.1 percent, down from 5.9 percent in 2005 due to the use of free ARV therapy for adults and distributing new drugs to prevent child-mother transmission.

Since the savage virus roared from African jungles in the early 1980s, sub-Saharan Africa accounts for a staggering 72 percent of global AIDS deaths, and two-thirds of all people infected with HIV.

After the disease was first diagnosed in Kenya in 1984, it has killed at least 1.5 million people, overturned decades of healthcare gains and now threatens to burn through development efforts if it is not reversed.

As of June last year, around one million Africans were receiving anti-retroviral drugs. This was still less than a quarter of the estimated 4.6 million people in need of the drugs on the continent.

With this, African leaders have been forced to divert mammoth funds, stripping other sectors and failingly tried to enforce laws to counter traditional risky practices like wife inheritance.

Source: AFP

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