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Bringing Services Closer To The People

People living with HIV in rural or remote areas can get the medicines they need
Grandma Florence
For the past three years Florence Mwero has brought her seven year old grandson Saidi Mwaka to Kinango District Hospital every three months to pick up a refill of the antiretroviral medicines he needs to keep his body healthy. Saidi is an orphan who lost both of his parents to AIDS-related illnesses and is being brought up by his grandmother.

Three years ago, Saidi was a pale shadow of the healthy-looking boy that he now is. When Florence took Saidi under her care, he was weak, malnourished and had sores all over his body. Determined to save her grandchild’s life Florence had had to scrounge for the fare needed to travel 23km to Kinango District Hospital where Saidi’s HIV-positive condition was diagnosed and he was started on antiretroviral treatment. The medicines helped Saidi get over the opportunistic infections that were ravaging his body and regain his health and strength within a few months.

Although Florence was happy to see her grandson’s recovery, she was worried that she would not be able to keep him in good health for long. The health workers at Kinango Hospital had told her it was important for Saidi to continue taking the antiretroviral medicines exactly as prescribed and without skipping a dose. This meant that Saidi would have to come to the clinic every three months for a physical check-up and to get a refill of the medicines. Florence would have to bring her grandson to Kinango every three months in order for his HIV condition to be effectively managed and this would be a uge financial burden to her.

When Florence explained her problem of distance and cost to the clinicians at Kinango, she did not know that they would mention her concerns to a Kenya Pharma representative, who in turn would discuss it with the District and the County pharmacists and eventually reach the ears of the National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NASCOP). As a result an important decision was made to upgrade a small local dispensary to begin providing HIV treatment services.

Vigurungani Dispensary is only a 10-minute walk from where Florence lives. When this small rural dispensary was made a service delivery site it enabled Saidi and other people living in his neighborhood to get HIV/AIDS treatment without travelling far and incurring costs that they cannot afford. Saidi was registered as the first client enrolled for ART service at Vigurungani Dispensary. The dispensary receives medicines from Kenya Pharma which is a reliable ARV supply chain supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Young Saidi’s health has improved dramatically since he was put on antiretroviral treatment. He is as active and as playful as any other 7-year-old child. And to his grandmother’s delight, Saidi has joined other children at school.Grandma Florence has peace of mind because she knows that the local dispensary has the medicines required to keep her grandson healthy and strong for a long time.

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Kenya Pharma is a USAID-supported project that works with the Kenyan government to prevent HIV and provide treatment and care by ensuring there is an un-interrupted supply of Anti-Retroviral (ARV) and Opportunistic Infection (OI) medicines available at sites that provide services for HIV and AIDS in Kenya.

We currently serve 168 ordering sites. These ordering points are servicing 659 Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) dispensing points. In addition to these ART sites, the ordering points also serve another 1,280 sites that provide only provide HIV prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services. By supplying HIV commodities to these sites, Kenya Pharma directly supplies HIV commodities that reach more than 352,000 patients countrywide.

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Chemonics brings 36 years of experience in managing large and complex development projects worldwide, including in Kenya.
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