The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief this week are expected to launch a $5.4 million initiative in western Kenya that will provide home-based services for people with HIV/AIDS, TB or malaria, Business Daily reports.
Under the program, called Health at Home/Kenya, health workers will visit homes to provide HIV testing and counseling, TB diagnosis and treatment services, insecticide-treated nets and malaria treatment. The program will be implemented locally through Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare and will target two million people in western Kenya. "The program is aimed at scaling up HIV/AIDS status awareness, diagnosing and treating TB, and offering preventive measures against malaria and worms infections," Henry Chang, vice president of GBC, said. Researchers at Moi University School of Medicine conducted a pilot project of the initiative from September to November 2007 and found that 95% of participants allowed physicians and counselors to visit them in their homes.
According to Business Daily, there are about 1,000 voluntary counseling and testing centers in Kenya, but many people have difficulty accessing them. Health workers have said the lack of data on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in the country has hindered efforts to fight the three diseases. GBC and PEPFAR said providing home-based services will provide more accurate estimates and lead to improved intervention efforts. "It is also through such doorstep initiatives that reliable data can be collected for effective policy formulation and response," Patricia Mugambi, head of GBC in East and Central Africa, said. Paul Wekesa of Liverpool VCT Care and Treatment added, "It is imperative to get as much data from these groups as possible to know which policies will best capture their needs and address their concerns" (Aron, Business Daily, 4/15).
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