Kenya to promote domestic funding for Aids research
17 March 2016, 17:14
Nairobi (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan Ministry of Health on Tuesday launched a five-year strategy to promote domestic financing of HIV/Aids research in the east African nation.
Senior officials said domestic funding of the HIV/Aids research agenda is an imperative in the light of diminishing external support for biomedical interventions to fight an epidemic that affects 5.6 percent of Kenya's population.
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Nduku Kilonzo, Director of National Aids Control Council (NACC), said implementation the agenda will cost 109 million U.S. dollars, the bulk of which will be sourced locally.
"The HIV/Aids research agenda in this country is facing funding shortfalls, hence the need to explore alternative sources like domestic money markets and higher public sector contribution," Kilonzo said.
The Kenya Aids Strategic Framework launched last year also roots for vibrant research and innovations as a strategic response to an epidemic that is a leading cause of deaths in the country.
Kilonzo emphasized that financing of high impact research programs will help reduce HIV infections and deaths among vulnerable groups.
"Our goal is to invest in research and translate it into policy and practice. We need to strengthen our in-house capacity to conduct in-depth HIV/Aids research," she said.
Kenya remains a regional hub for biomedical research on HIV/Aids and other infectious diseases.
Officials noted that investment in human resources and infrastructure has sustained Kenya's track record as regional powerhouse for biomedical research.
According to Dr Jasper Rugut, the CEO of National Council for Science, Technology and Innovations (NACOSTI), cutting edge research has contributed immensely to the reduction of the Aids burden in Kenya.
"Quality research is behind enormous success the country has achieved in the fight against HIV/Aids. Our scientists have conducted ground breaking research that has informed local and regional response to the pandemic," said Rugut.
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