Health

Health ministry loses Sh5bn donor funds for HIV, Covid

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

The Ministry of Health has lost Sh5.3 billion that was meant to finance the fight against Covid-19, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria due to lack of capacity to use the funds.

The Treasury has rationalised the ministry’s development spending due to low absorption of donor-funded projects.

The Supplementary Budget II tabled in Parliament last week shows that the Treasury slashed the money meant for preventive, promotive and reproductive health.

“Reduction is on account of budget rationalisation due to low absorption of Development Partners funded projects,” Ukur Yatani, the Treasury Cabinet Secretary, says in the mini-budget.

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Budget documents tabled in Parliament show the ministry lost Sh4.2 billion from the World Bank, Sh766 million from the Global Fund and Sh353 million from Danida. The Sh4.2 billion was secured from the World Bank to support the Kenya Covid-19 Emergency Response Project.

The ministry also failed to absorb Sh766 million from the Global Fund that was meant to finance interventions in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

The ministry also suffered a Sh353 million from Denmark agency, Danida, which was earmarked to support primary healthcare in the devolved system.

The Treasury, however, allocated the Health ministry Sh974 million that was secured from France under the GESDEK Covid-19 Emergency Response Project.

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

Wearing mask

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

“I want to insist that we follow the safety guidelines issued on Covid-19. Even though the mandatory wearing of masks was lifted, we are getting into the cold season and the cases have started rising, so it is safer to have your mask on,” she said.

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The Health Ministry last week announced an increase in the Covid-19 positivity rate to 3.3 percent, from 2.2 percent recorded the earlier week.

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