US donates millions to improve healthcare delivery in Kenya

The United States has donated more than $31 million to advance Kenya’s efforts to establish a digital superhighway that enables a holistic view of healthcare delivery.

This was announced after a meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and William Ruto, who is on a state visit to the United States.

The United States has worked closely with the Ministry of Health to create and implement digital health solutions to support disease programs and improve the ability to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats.

This includes $4 million (approximately Sh531.7 million) through the USAID Power Africa Health Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance.

The amount is intended to support solar energy solutions for health facilities and activities to strengthen community and facility information systems to improve patient care and expand access to emergency medical services for mothers and newborns.

Additionally, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Leveraging Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa) program focuses on facilitating the use of data science to impact outcomes in Africa and supports a data center and training and education programs. development programs in Kenya.

At the same time, the Presidents discussed issues to reduce the impact of Malaria.

They recognized that through the Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI), the United States contributed $33.5 million in 2023 to combat malaria in Kenya, providing vital financial and technical assistance.

Biden noted that the United States supports resilient health systems to deliver care by training health workers, strengthening supply chains, improving data tracking, and reinforcing national health policies and guidelines.

These investments have contributed to a 50 percent reduction in malaria prevalence over the past decade.

Biden added that in support of Kenya’s localization goals, PMI is expanding its procurement of pharmaceutical supplies from Kenyan manufacturers.

It intends to purchase up to five million additional malaria treatments and 475,000 doses of preventive treatments from Kenyan producers in 2024.

Additionally, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is investing in Kenya’s private sector by providing a direct loan of $10 million (approximately Sh1.3 billion) to Hewa Tele Company.

The Kenyan company provides a regular and affordable supply of medical oxygen to healthcare facilities in Africa.

The United States also made two rounds of equity investment totaling $4 million (approximately Sh531.6 million) to Kasha Global, a Kenya-based e-commerce company that offers personal care, healthcare and beauty to low-income women in Kenya and Rwanda.

During the meeting, Kenya and the United States renewed their commitment to their long-standing partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the CDC and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

This is to support the Kenya Center for Applied Sciences, building on 45 years of research partnership on malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, vaccine-preventable diseases, maternal and child health, emerging infectious diseases and COVID-19.

Research at the Center for Applied Sciences aims to expand surveillance, answer critical public health questions, and introduce new diagnostic methods, including advanced molecular and serology-based methods, and training in public health laboratory core competencies. .

In 2024, the United States provided approximately $12.9 million to support KEMRI research efforts through the CDC, NIH, and the Department of Defense.

In fiscal year 2023, NIH supported more than 250 grants to U.S. organizations that collaborated with Kenyan organizations, covering a wide range of relevant biomedical research topics, and approximately 90 of these collaborations included KEMRI researchers.

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