The County Government of Kakamega has signed an MoU with AMPATH to support health workers and people living with HIV in the County.

The MoU will see the County get Ksh 246 million annually to pay salaries for full time health workers and additional Ksh 14 million for 201 volunteers working under the USAID funded HIV program.

Speaking after signing the MoU, Governor H.E Dr Wycliffe Oparanya said Kakamega County is the first County to get direct funding from development partners to support the programme.

“Kakamega is the pioneer County to receive funding directly from donors for the HIV programme. I want to assure the partners and other stakeholders that the funds will be prudently used and for the intended purpose,” said Governor Oparanya.

He explained that in December 2020 the County enacted the Kakamega HIV, AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infection Management Act that gave the County authority to seek direct partnership with donors supporting the health programme.

“The Council of Governors has been fighting for direct funding from donors for development programmes and we are privileged to be the first county to achieve this,” said Oparanya.

He noted that HIV/AIDs has had adverse effect on the County adding that Kakamega has over 47,000 people living with HIV with a four percent prevalence rate.

He noted that the County has 91,000 orphans of which 19,300 were orphaned because of HIV/AIDs.

Governor Oparanya said the funding has come at the right time and it is a positive step towards making the county self reliance in managing HIV/AIDs programmes.

“This funding will help the County address gaps in funding HIV programs because we experience cash flow challenges with the National Treasury which affect operations and services at the County,” he said.

Dr Wilson Aruasa, CEO Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital said the programme also targets to support human resource in the health sector.

He lauded the Governor for his efforts to improve and better health services in the County saying the efforts will reduce the cost of seeking health services.

“I have visited Kakamega County General Hospital and seen how the hospital is clean and services have improved,” said Dr Aruasa.

He said MTRH is ready to partner with the County to provide part time quality health services to the Kakamega Teaching and Referral hospital when it opens its doors to patients.

He added that completion and operationalization of the level six hospital will be a major milestone for the County and will cushion patients from traveling to Moi Teaching and Referral hospital in Eldoret for specialized treatment.

Dr Collins Matemba CECM for Health Services thanked the development partners for choosing Kakamega to benefit from the funding.

“I thank AMPATH for this noble program that will boost our efforts to provide health care to people living with HIV and capacity building for our healthcare workers under the programme,” said Dr Matemba.

The County Attorney Madam Vivian Mmbaka said the County will ensure proper collaboration, coordination and management of the funds and the entire program to achieve its intended objectives.

She added that the Act will guide in running the programme that has far reaching effects of our people.

CECMs, Chief Officers, County Secretary and Head of Public Service Madam Jacinta Aluoch, Representatives from Moi University, MMUST, USAID among other partners, and other County officers were present.