Update

President of Kenya commits to ensure sustainability of the AIDS response in Kenya

09 July 2014

The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, pledged to continue working with the United Nations for the effective utilization of available resources in the national AIDS response during a meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé on 7 July in his office at Harambee House in Nairobi, Kenya.

President Kenyatta also discussed the importance of supporting local production of HIV medicines and commodities at the regional level in line with the African Union Roadmap on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity for AIDS, TB and Malaria Response in Africa, which African Heads of States adopted in July 2012. He said Africa should leverage AIDS as an entry point for building its own pharmacy to ensure sustainability of the AIDS response on the continent. The President also stressed that his government will continue to increase its budgetary allocations to the health sector in the current financial year, focusing on preventive health measures to ensure the well-being of its citizens.

During his visit, Mr Sidibé also met with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta to discuss successes and challenges of the First Lady’s Beyond Zero initiative, which aims at accelerating progress in saving the lives of women and children in Kenya. He commended the First Lady for her steadfast commitment to eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and keeping mothers alive. Mr Sidibé reiterated UNAIDS’ commitment to support the Office of the First Lady achieve its vision that no mother die of an AIDS-related illness and that no child is orphaned or left vulnerable.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta also joined the UNAIDS Protect the Goal Campaign by adding their signatures on the Protect the Goal campaign ball. The global campaign was launched in Brazil on 9 June on the side-lines of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and aims to galvanize young people to commit to HIV prevention efforts and ensure universal access to HIV treatment and care services for all eligible people living with HIV by 2015.

During his visit, the UNAIDS Executive Director took the opportunity to introduce the new UNAIDS Country Director for Kenya, Jantine Jacobi, to key political and civil society leaders and partners in Kenya’s AIDS response.

Quotes

"My Government shares the UN’s philosophy of control of AIDS, among other diseases. We need to pool resources to solve our common health problems."

President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta

Quotes

"Countries manufacturing pharmaceuticals are sourcing most of the raw materials from Africa. With financial and technical support, African countries can utilize the natural resources at their disposal to produce cheaper medicines."

UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé