Department of Health loses $5 billion in donor funds for HIV and Covid


Department of Health loses $5 billion in donor funds for HIV and Covid

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. PICTURES | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

The Ministry of Health has lost 5.3 billion shillings which was meant to fund the fight against Covid-19, HIV, TB and Malaria due to lack of capacity to use the funds.

The Treasury rationalized the ministry’s development expenditure due to low absorption of donor-funded projects.

Supplementary Budget II tabled in Parliament last week shows that the Treasury has cut funds for preventive, promotional and reproductive health.

“The reduction is due to budget rationalization due to low absorption of projects funded by development partners,” Ukur Yatani, the Treasury Cabinet Secretary, said in the mini-budget.

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Budget documents tabled in parliament show that the ministry lost 4.2 billion shillings from the World Bank, 766 million shillings from the Global Fund and 353 million shillings from Danida. The 4.2 billion shillings was obtained from the World Bank to support the Covid-19 emergency response project in Kenya.

The ministry also failed to absorb 766 million shillings from the Global Fund intended to finance interventions in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

The ministry also suffered 353 million shillings from the Danish agency Danida, which was intended to support primary health care in the decentralized system.

The Treasury has, however, allocated to the Ministry of Health 974 million shillings which were obtained from France under the GESDEK Covid-19 emergency response project.

The budget cuts affecting donor-funded health projects come amid a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Wear a mask

Last week, Principal Health Secretary Susan Mochache urged Kenyans to observe Covid-19 safety protocols as the country continues to record a higher positivity rate.

“I want to insist that we follow the safety instructions issued on Covid-19. Even though mandatory mask-wearing has been lifted, we are entering the cold season and cases have started to rise, so it is safer to wear your mask,” she said.

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The Ministry of Health announced last week an increase in the Covid-19 positivity rate to 3.3%, against 2.2% recorded the previous week.

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