UN Teams Up with Kenya to End AIDS Epidemic by 2030

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The United Nations has begun working with the Government of Kenya in an effort to end the country’s AIDS epidemic by 2030.

UNAIDS announced the move in a press release this week that proposes “fast-track progress” towards ending Kenya’s battle with the fatal virus.

The programme revolves around an innovative data tool known as the “Kenya HIV Situation Room,” which will collect data on logistics and service delivery to produce a more accurate picture of the current AIDS situation in Kenya, according to the announcement.

Calling on big data to fight AIDS

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé says fast, accurate data is essential in Kenya’s efforts to control the AIDS epidemic and improve the lives of roughly 800,000 people currently receiving treatment.

“High velocity data is critical for insights into a more effective and efficient response to HIV,” he says. “President Kenyatta’s leadership will help Africa accelerate progress towards ending the AIDS epidemic as part of sustainable development goals.”

Sidibé also claims the new data tool can “serve in a similar manner to track progress against other diseases, such as tuberculosis and malaria.”

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also hailed the impact of the new programme: “As we all know, what gets measured gets done,” he said. “I am pleased that today the internet-based dashboard, the Kenya HIV Situation Room has been unveiled. The use of ICT is a priority for my government.”

Steady progress in the battle against HIV

Kenya’s efforts against the AIDS epidemic has seen new HIV infection rates fall by 77%, since their peak in 1993 [data from 2014]. As of last year roughly 57% of adults living with HIV in Kenya had access to lifesaving medicines, while 67% of pregnant women with the virus had access to medicine that prevents transmission to their child.

The result has been a 74% reduction in new HIV infections among children since the peak in 1994.

Featured image:

UN Members Flags2” by I, Aotearoa. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.