UK’s Sh0.3b for ARVs purchase


THE British government’s Department for International Development (DFID) has offered Sh378 million to Kenya for the purchase of Antiretrovirals and HIV testing kits.

The DFID support will be used to procure first line antiretroviral drugs and increase the number of Aids patients on HIV treatment in the country. The number stands at 66,000.

DFID Country Director, Simon Bland, announced the issue of the funds yesterday in a statement from the Agency, saying the intervention aim at facilitating continued treatment of those already on the drugs and get more infected people on ARV’s.

The emergency procurement of the drugs as disclosed by Bland, will be undertaken by UNICEF who will buy the test kits and drugs.

Bland said: “the potential drug’s shortage is serious and we need to react quickly.

However reasons for the stockouts must be considered and tackled in the long term.”

The Ministry of Health, he advised, should prioritise the strengthening of its planning and procurement systems to ensure that essential drugs and supplies were always available.

Said he: “It is important to tackle any procurement and supply chain management problems within the context of the sector wide approach problems.”

Meanwhile the UK last week announced an additional 100-million-Sterling pound-assistance package over the next two years to help ensure faster achievement of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of getting every child in the world into primary school education by 2015.

The British Secretary of State for International Development, Hillary Benn, while making the announcement said the assistance will cater for a quarter of the current funding gap in the Fast Track Initiative (FTI) for education, a global partnership between donors and developing countries.

The money will be utilised in preparation and implementation of plans by developing countries to get more children into school.

Launched in 2002 , the FTI encourages donors to work together to provide more effective aid for education in support of plans prepared by 54 low income earning countries that receive the support.

Forty more countries are expected to join the initiative by the year 2008 enabling many children to enrol in primary schools.

It is estimated that Africa and South Asia account for 70 per cent of all non-school-going children in the world.

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