Govt pledges new financing for HIV research
08 May 2015, 08:26
Nairobi - The government will scale up funding towards ground breaking research that aims to enhance response to HIV/Aids pandemic, officials said on Thursday.
Cabinet Secretary for Health James Macharia said the government will support HIV research to help inform viable response to an epidemic that affects 5.6 percent of the population.
"High quality and ethically sound research has contributed significantly to the war against HIV/Aids. In addition, it has emboldened efforts to find an Aids vaccine," said Macharia in Nairobi during a conference to discuss strategies required to accelerate HIV/Aids research in Kenya.
Policy makers, development partners and grassroots campaigners agreed that Kenya must increase budget for HIV research to reduce new infections and boost treatment for the infected.
Kenya is the fourth country globally with the heaviest burden of HIV/Aids. Macharia said the government has fast-tracked a raft of policy and legislative measures to reverse infections and expand treatment options.
"Behavioral studies and research on structural interventions have contributed significantly to a reduction in new infections in the last decade," Macharia said.
The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has invested heavily on biomedical research on Aids and other infectious diseases.
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Macharia emphasized that application of evidence based research will accelerate progress towards achieving an Aids free society in Kenya.
"The government will commit additional resources to support implementation of HIV research agenda. The Kenya Aids strategic framework roots for vibrant research to boost the war against this pandemic," Macharia told campaigners.
Kenya will explore innovative financing options to boost HIV/ Aids research.
The Director, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Dr Solomon Mpoke said that external sources of funding towards Aids research have dwindled thanks to competition from emerging infections like Ebola.
"Domestic financing for Aids research remains a sustainable option. We have explored public private partnerships alongside grants from the treasury to support HIV/Aids research programs," said Mpoke.
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