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Remmy Butia December 15, 2019

US AMBASSADOR IN FIRST VISIT OF NANDI COUNTY EXPECTED TO IGNITE NEW TIES IN THE HEALTH SECTOR

The United States Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter will be on his first visit to Nandi to visit ongoing US supported projects with the County government. During the one day visit, Ambassador Kyle will engage with county and national government officials, NGOs and local business representatives. He is scheduled to visit several projects including the ongoing construction of Kapsabet Mother and Baby Hospital Complex and officially open the Nandi Hills integrated comprehensive care centre (CCC).

The over 300 bed capacity Kapsabet Mother and Baby Hospital complex will boast of a High Dependence Unit (HDU), Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Emergency and Response Unit. Other features are state-of-the-art theatres and a Cancer Screening Centre.

Governor Stephen Sang’s administration is keen on ensuring all patients are treated within the county and not referred to far-flung facilities.

The Nandi hills integrated out-patient comprehensive care centre (CCC) at Nandi Hills County Hospital was constructed with ~$200,000 (KSh 20,000,000) PEPFAR Funds from the US Government. The facility will improve service delivery to over 10,000 mothers and their Children and approximately 4,000 HIV positive individuals.

It currently serves as a referral center for over 11 facilities offering HIV care and treatment and over 70 facilities offering Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services. The CCC was constructed to enable the facility cope with the increasing number of patients and referrals.

The US envoy is expected to interact with the health care workers at the various service delivery points within the Comprehensive Care Clinic (CCC) and learn more about the U.S government’s financial support towards the provision of quality HIV/TB prevention, treatment and care services.

The County has over the years partnered with PEPFAR to enable the HIV Program to address most of its challenges such as improvement of infrastructure through renovations, procurement of furniture, capacity building, procurement of medical and laboratory equipment, procurement of drugs and delivery of related supplies. These activities have improved management of HIV/AIDS patients, increased enrollment of HIV infected into care and hence most clients in the program are able to continue with their normal activities.

In 2018, PEPFAR supported 149 personnel of different cadres including COs, NOs, Lab techs, Pharm Techs, Nutritionists, HTC providers, Mentor Mothers, Data Officer and Admin staff. These staff are stationed in various facilities, and deployed alongside the County staff. For over 10 years, these staff received a lot of capacity building through PEPFAR supported trainings and mentorship in HIV and Non-HIV related services including: HIV, TB; Sexual and Reproductive Health; Maternal and Child Health; Cervical Cancer screening and management; Gender Based Violence Management; Data management, Analysis, and use for Decision Making; Research, among other critical skills.

Due to decreased PEPFAR funding, and with a view to sustainability of the HIV response, the County Government of Nandi, after discussions with PEPFAR successfully transitioned all the Clinical Cadres to County Government payroll. This has ensured retention of highly trained staff in GoK service, and continuity of quality HIV services. This was made possible through pragmatic County leadership; and is an example to be emulated by other Counties for successful transition and sustainability of HIV services in Kenya.

Under the Walter Reed Project – Kenya (WRP) partnership with the County Government of Nandi, the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) HIV program supports HIV research and vaccine development efforts, as well as operational research and HIV prevention, care and treatment. The Program integrates HIV research and comprehensive care, which enables the team to achieve critical research goals while improving HIV treatment services for the region.

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