Kenya set to benefit from Sh2.5bn HIV self-testing fund

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Kenya is set to benefit from Sh2.5 billion fund for HIV self-testing.
The new fund will support countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and Kenya is eligible to apply.
Kenya has already authorised two self-testing kits, but each cost at least Sh500 for a single-use, which is considered too expensive.
While announcing the new funding, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) said their aim is to lower the cost of self-tests, trial alternative distribution channels and fund education and promotional activities.
“This is CIFF’s latest milestone in its extensive effort to increase young people’s access to healthcare services,” it said in a statement.
CFF said the Sh2.5 billion fund will also support country programmes that have ambitious HIV self-testing goals and put supportive policies in place for people to easily access self-tests.
“CIFF is championing HIV self-testing and other methods to promote self-care as one of the most powerful ways for youth, women and men to take control of their sexual & reproductive health,” said CIF executive director for adolescence Miles Kemplay.
While the approved kits in Kenya are highly accurate, a recent study showed cheaper, bogus kits are slowly creeping into the market.
Researchers designed a mystery shopper exercise involving 55 private sector providers in Nairobi and Mombasa. Shoppers aged between 16 and 24 were recruited. They received a two-day training before going to a pharmacy or clinic to buy a self-testing kit.
The shoppers found that some private facilities tried to sell them unregistered kits. Such kits were hawked cheaply at Sh150 apiece instead of the Sh500 recommended for the genuine kits.
The bogus kits were likely imported from South Africa and China.

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