Kenyan Health Ministry, MSF Inaugurate New Health Center To Provide Treatment, Care to HIV-Positive People in Nairobi
The Kenyan health ministry and MSF Belgium on Thursday inaugurated a new health center in Nairobi, Kenya, that will provide HIV/AIDS counseling and testing services, as well as antiretroviral drug treatment at low or no cost to HIV-positive people, IRIN/Reuters AlertNet reports. About 1,850 HIV-positive people already receive treatment at the center, which is run jointly by the health ministry and MSF Belgium, according to Moses Massaquioi, MSF's medical coordinator in Kenya, IRIN/Reuters AlertNet reports. MSF has been providing antiretrovirals at no cost, but patients from other government health facilities are required to pay $5 per month for testing and treatment services, an amount Kenyan Health Minister Charity Ngilu said many could not afford, according to IRIN/Reuters AlertNet. However, Christine Jamet, head of MSF's mission in Kenya, said antiretrovirals must be provided at no cost, adding, "Poverty should not be allowed to get in the way of care." There are approximately 1.24 million HIV-positive people living in Kenya and 200,000 of them require antiretroviral treatment. However, only 37,680 of those who need treatment are receiving the drugs. Ngilu said that the treatment program hopes to cover 95,000 people by the end of this year (IRIN/Reuters AlertNet, 4/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.