UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, was joined by a cross-party group of British MPs visiting Kenya along with representatives from British charity Malaria No More to discuss the fight against the disease in Kenya and the Commonwealth commitment to halve cases by 2023.
On Friday, the visiting British politicians; Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative MP for Atwood and Morley, Stephen Kerr, Conservative MP for Stirling, Stephen Lloyd, Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne, and Catherine West, Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green were joined by Malaria No More UK Advocacy Manager Lis Wallace and Advocacy Officer Charlotte Dixie UK for a meeting at Amref Health.
The MPs discussed the concrete actions that should be made in ensuring the realisation of Universal Health Coverage and the challenges faced in the implementation of projects at community, county and national levels. They also examined community interventions in Malaria as well as Tuberculosis (TB) activities funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
Last December, Amref Health Africa in Kenya received a grant of Ksh4.6 Billion from Global Fund which it has used to train 7,350 community health volunteers to diagnose malaria using rapid diagnostic test kits and trained 1,470 Community Health Extension Workers on community case management of malaria. To date, the Global Fund TB project has screened and identified 59,768 cases of TB.
Speaking at the meeting, MP Stephen Kerr said, “We represent the needs of vulnerable people in communities. We just came from a field visit to Siaya and what we want is to represent the women and children that we saw during the visit.” He also commended Amref for its impressive work that is having a positive impact on local communities.
MP Catherine West added an acknowledgement of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to the Commonwealth goals and noted that devolution is a key step to ensure these goals are achieved.
During their time in Kenya, the British MPs visited communities living with malaria and saw first-hand the life-saving efforts supported by Malaria No More and were updated on the progress made tackling the disease.
The UK is a leader in the malaria campaign which has cut global deaths by 60% since 2000 and according to the Global TB Report (2016), Kenya is among the 30 countries with a triple burden of TB, TB/HIV and Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB) and is ranked number 14 among the TB high-burden countries that contribute to 80% of the global TB burden.