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NEPHAK calls for more funding to help fight TB

09 October 2014, 11:19 Mike Munga

Nairobi - The National Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV and Aids (NEPHAK) has urged the government to allocate more funds for the treatment of Tuberculosis saying it is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV.

Speaking during a press briefing at a Nairobi hotel Wednesday, the Executive Director of NEPHAK Nelson  Otuoma said they are concerned by the threatening stock outs of TB drugs.

He said that the bulk of HIV funding (87%) comes from external sources and the future of the national response to HIV is uncertain due to changing donor priorities and the global crisis.

Read Also: Govt embarks on fight against the spread of TB

 “Kenya is now a middle-income economy. That means that we only have about two more years to receive donor funding,” he said, adding that the National and County governments should develop innovative ways to raise the resources needed to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV as the resurgence of TB has been attributed to the high and rising cases of HIV among Kenyans.

Otuoma added that urgent and exceptional measures must be put in place to avert the looming shortage or lack of TB drugs in the country this year and beyond.

 “On behalf of TB patients and especially populations at risk of contracting TB,  we recommend the immediate allocation of funds and initiation of emergency procurement of first-line adult anti-TB medicines and  in the long term, increased allocation of domestic funding to TB,” he said.

He further called on parliament to provide legislation for procurement of specialized TB, HIV and malaria medicines in accordance with the law.

Read Also: Kenya 13th on list of TB burdened countries

“We as NEPHAK hereby call on Parliament to put in place the necessary legislation to enable the procurement of specialized medicines for TB, HIV and malaria in accordance with article 190(3) in support of counties,” he said.

Otuoma further called on the County governments to consider transfer of procurement function for TB, HIV and malaria specialized medicines to National Government.

The Executive Director noted that despite the devolution of health services to the County Governments, there is need for a central procurement of specialized medicines.

 “The central procurement of specialized medicines is necessary because quality of medicines can only be guaranteed at a national level procurement,” he said.

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