Health Civil Society Organizations under the umbrella of Health NGOs Network (HENNET) would like to thank the government of Kenya through Ministry of Health (MoH) for granting tax waiver to the Life-saving HIV and tuberculosis drugs. We are informed that these drugs were stuck at the port of Mombasa following a tax tussle between the Kenyan government and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Civil Societies in Kenya and Communities of People living with HIV have been very concerned over this issue for we saw the health facilities experiencing stock out of HIV and TB drugs, we saw the over 1.5 Million PLWHIV and those infected with Tuberculosis (TB) suffering and even their losing their lives. We also reflected on the gains that we have tirelessly achieved in the fight against HIV and TB and we saw them going to the drain due to absence of these lifesaving drugs.
It is for the above reason that the tax waiver has brought a sigh of relief to the country, Health NGOs’ Network (HENNET), its members and PLWHV in Kenya. HENNET would also want to most sincerely thank USAID for the patience it has demonstrated during this period.
To mitigate on such happenings HENNET would want to request the government of Kenya to urgently:
- Convene a stakeholders meeting to develop a clear long term action plan that will help the country to ensure that HIV and TB drugs and other supplies will be available without such stalemates.
- The government and the stakeholders to jointly develop a plan for strengthening KEMSA to build resilience promote inclusivity and increase sustainability of this institution.
We request for your response on our appeals above the earliest possible.