NAIROBI, Kenya-Tuesday 11 September 2018 [ AETOS Wire ]
(BUSINESS WIRE)-- When Jane Atieno had a chance meeting with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in Mombasa in 2008, she could not have known she would grace the stage 10 years later to share her story and the significant role AHF played in her life. In a room packed with staff, partners and well-wishers, Jane proudly announced that she was the very first AHF Kenya client. She gave her testimonial during a gala dinner on August 31 to commemorate AHF’s 10 years of supporting the Kenyan people and government with free HIV testing, treatment and healthcare services.
Jane shared her memory of when she accompanied a friend whose child had an immunization appointment. A message about the importance of HIV testing on a wall at Mtongwe Health Centre prompted her to take an HIV test. The shock of testing positive, mainly because she didn't feel sick, kept her away from the facility and from seeking treatment. But the devoted AHF team, led by Clinical Officer Debra Koriata, continued to counsel and encourage her until she finally enrolled into care – an act she credits with saving her life. “Today, I am healthy and I am smart, all because of AHF. Without AHF, I would not be here today, and for that, I am very grateful,” Jane said.
She also encouraged guests who did not know their HIV status to avoid delays and get tested. Her story inspired everyone and evoked a standing ovation across the room. It was a perfect reminder of the efficacy of HIV treatment and a testament to AHF’s patient-centred service delivery.
From its humble beginnings, AHF Kenya has grown through the years, increasing its footprint across the length and breadth of the country – all while working in close partnership with the Ministry of Health, the National AIDS Control Council (NACC), NASCOP and civil society organisations. Today, the program has a presence in nine counties and supports more than 30 facilities.
“The year 2018 is a very significant year for AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Kenya,” said AHF Kenya Country Program Director Dr. Samuel Kiyanjui. “It rings in a decade of quality service delivery that has not only impacted thousands of lives but also entrenched the program as one of the formidable partners of the government in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
“From client number one in 2008 to over fifty-one thousand today, AHF Kenya has also conducted over three million free HIV tests and distributed more than fourteen million AHF-branded LOVE and ICON condoms throughout the country. We have championed evidenced-based advocacy that seeks to address issues of HIV/AIDS funding, access to treatment, and young women and girls through the Girls ACT Safe space program, among others. AHF’s support was also instrumental in establishing the Parliamentary TB caucus at the country level. None of our achievements would be possible without sustained and strengthened partnerships at all levels,” Dr. Kiyanjui added.
The importance of sustained partnerships was reinforced by the Cabinet Secretary of Health, Ms. Sicily Kariuki’s speech who was represented by the Chief Administrative Secretary of Health, Dr. Rashid Anan. "The Ministry of Health is committed to investment towards HIV and achieving the 90-90-90 targets. AHF Kenya has been a key partner in this fight, and we commend your contribution through your condom programming, HIV testing to more than three million people, and we appreciate your support in care and treatment,” said Ms. Kariuki. “We have seen youth leaders emerge from your mentorship program and your work with adolescents and young people is commendable. You can always count on us in this regard. We look forward to continuing this partnership, and I wish you the best as you step into the next decade of your program.”
From Mombasa to Kilifi and Nairobi to Makueni, AHF’s team of service providers continues to stay true to the organisation’s mission of providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy regardless of ability to pay. In addition to service delivery, AHF Kenya has supported more than 15 infrastructure developments, ranging from refurbishing existing clinic spaces to constructing new facilities. Through initiatives like its Chairman’s Golf Tournament, the brainchild of AHF Kenya Board Chairman Ambassador Dr. Stephen Karau, AHF reaches captains of industry and senior government officials with HIV/AIDS testing services by leveraging a game that they love.
In her speech, AHF Africa Bureau Chief Dr. Penninah Iutung conveyed her appreciation for the support of AHF President Michael Weinstein and the global team in Los Angeles whose guidance has contributed immensely to the growth of the program and AHF’s presence on the continent. She also applauded the government and staff of AHF Kenya for their hard work and commitment over the years. “Thank you for trusting us and walking side by side with us throughout these ten years. To the AHF Kenya team, keep up the good work until we achieve global AIDS control,” she said.
AHF Global Board Vice Chair Diana Hoorzuk lauded Ambassador Dr. Karau and the AHF Kenya team for all the milestones they have accomplished. She also praised the willingness and determination of the Government of Kenya in the fight against HIV. “Ten years of hard work. Ten years of resilience. Ten years of great milestones. On behalf of the Board of Directors, congratulations!” she said.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organisation, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 970,000 individuals in 41 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.
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AHF Africa Media Contact:
Senior Manager, PR & Communications, Africa Bureau
Regional Policy & Advocacy Manager – Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe
AHF Kenya Contact:
Program Development & Advocacy Manager, AHF Kenya
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