Season two episode one of Kenya’s history has just started in all fronts


28 Jul 2015 | by
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Season two episode one of Kenya’s history has just started in all fronts

Many things have happened in Kenya and around the world that affect us directly but I know we have been fixated on POTUS and his coming to Kenya as well as whether Kidero’s grass can turn green in three days or not............

Many things have happened in Kenya and around the world that affect us directly but I know we have been fixated on POTUS and his coming to Kenya as well as whether Kidero’s grass can turn green in three days or not. While Kenyans are humorous, we had that silly distraction from CNN when they called us a hotbed of terrorism but I will not digress, I want us to focus on the good things that have happened in the past week that will definitely have long term effect on our country and generations to come.

I will start with the least highlighted issue which was the international conference on financing for development that highlighted how far we have come in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The report which took stock of the millennium development goal 6 on halting and reversing the spread of HIV—have been achieved and exceeded, according to a new report released by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). New HIV infections have fallen by 35% and AIDS-related deaths by 41%. The global response to HIV has averted 30 million new HIV infections and nearly 8 million (7.8 million) AIDS-related deaths since 2000, when the MDGs were set.

 

This is critical and indeed  good news in the fight against this disease. According to the report, How AIDS changed everything; 15 years , 15 lessons of hope from the AIDS response. This not withstanding for us to win the war we  need to focus on winning the war against this disease. Fifteen years ago the thought of putting all patients who were HIV positive on anti retroviral drugs was impossible but not the story is different. If we could only look at health care financing as an investment as opposed to a cost, we will go far. In 2000, fewer than 1% of people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries had access to treatment, as the sky-high prices of medicines—around US$ 10 000 per person per year—put them out of reach. The inequity of access and injustice sparked global moral outrage, which created one of the most defining achievements of the response to HIV—massive reductions in the price of life-saving antiretroviral medicines. As Kenyans we need to speak about the equity in health care service and investment, that is the only way we will fights against the current non communicable diseases that have taken over from communicable diseases.

 

The first ladies from 30 African countries, met before POTUS came, seeking public private partnerships to help the fight against Cancer of the cervix, prostate and of the breast. They are seeking to draw attention to these cancers that have made many Kenyans lose their lives, yet very costly to treat and affordable to the few who are rich. Indeed during the conference, former health minister Beth Mugo and currently a nominated senator gave her testimony of how she got healed of cancer but also of how expensive the treatment was. She had to travel outside the country to seek treatment. At one point as I listened, I wondered why they never chose to get a woman from a poor background to give us the true picture of our health care system when it comes to fighting cancer. Indeed unless funding is given to beef up our facilities where ordinary Wananchi are likely to access services, this meeting will be another opportunity for first ladies to meet and talk. So let the men behind these beautiful women turn the talk of their wives into something meaningful by putting their money in the right place. I believe putting money in health is an investment not a cost.

 

I know as Kenyans we were preoccupied with the Global Entrepreneur Summit which came to an end this weekend, but a sobering fact is for the first time the world came to us and all we needed to do is to tap into those investors. I was saddened by the fact that instead of showcasing science and technology we focused on traditional tourism. I pray that the real innovators got a chance to meet the real sharks who are ready to invest in our brilliant ideas and spirit of entrepreneurship. We have a Swahili saying that goes Mgeni njoo mwenyeji apone and indeed may we not squander this great opportunity that we got as a country when the world’s eyes were on Kenya. In the health and business front, let this be the beginning of season 2 episode one of our story as Kenyans. Lets weave a new positive story for ourselves and future generations. Lets not give the likes of CNN the opportunity to paint us negatively. We can do this. ACTION!

 

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