Where We Work
The USAID | Health Policy Initiative completed its work in Kenya on September 29, 2010.
In Kenya, Task Order 1 of the USAID | Health Policy Initiative worked with civil society and government partners to address critical health challenges.
The project's HIV assistance supported the efforts of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to expand access to antiretroviral treatment, avert new infections, and provide care for people affected by the epidemic, including orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). Project activities supported policy analysis, systems strengthening, strategic information, and improved palliative care and OVC programs.
With its FP/RH and maternal health assistance, the project helped achieve a renewed high-level commitment to FP/RH programs through policy advocacy and dialogue. The initiative provided assistance in formulating and implementing national RH policies and strategies; collecting data and information for improved planning; and integrating FP/RH and HIV programs.
The project's health finance and systems strengthening program enhanced the Ministry of Health's ability to mobilize additional resources and strengthen policies and systems to achieve improved planning, financing, and quality of programs and services.
Kenya Begins Implementing HIV and AIDS Act. While Kenya passed a national HIV and AIDS Control Act in 2006, until recently the Act had not been implemented because the government had not publicly announced a commencement date. Following advocacy efforts by project-supported champions, the Act officially entered into force on March 30, 2009.
HIV Policy Environment Scores Show Progress. Kenya's 2008 UNGASS Report showed significant (10-30%) improvement in Kenya's HIV policy environment using the National Composite Policy Index (NCPI). The NCPI measures four key policy intervention areas: political support; policy support; human rights, stigma and discrimination; and civil society engagement. While this change is a result of numerous concerted actions involving multiple actors and stakeholders, the project's efforts were an important element in the shift. For example, the project helped the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) restructure and improve its leadership and coordination capacity and assisted in the development of national GIPA (Greater Involvement of PLHIV) guidelines to support PLHIV engagement. We also strengthened the capacity of PLHIV networks and other civil society organizations to participate in the policy process, increasing their visibility and enhancing recognition of the rights of PLHIV and other vulnerable populations.
New PLHIV Networks Serve Key Populations. While their profession places them in close proximity to treatment, care, and support services, elevated stigma and discrimination restrict healthcare workers' access to those services. In April 2008, the first network of HIV-positive healthcare workers was launched. The group will act as an advocate for all healthcare workers living with or affected by HIV.
Kenya's education sector is deeply affected by HIV. Prevalence rates among teachers range from six to 10 percent, with the highest rates among teachers at tertiary educational institutions. Despite this, until recently, the country lacked a network for HIV-positive teachers at the tertiary level. In August 2008, the Kenya AIDS Network for Post Primary Institutions (KANEPPI) was established to champion the rights of teachers within Kenya's tertiary-level education institutions. The project provided technical and financial support for the formation of KANEPPI and helped design its constitution and a six-month workplan.