KENYA — Recent discussions held between Eng. Peter Tum, the PS Medical Services, and Ms. Billie-Jean Nieuwenhuys, the Gavi Senior Country Manager, have revealed that the Kenyan government is taking an active role in transitioning from Gavi support for its national vaccination program.

During their meeting, Eng. Peter Tum and Ms. Billie-Jean Nieuwenhuys emphasized the importance of developing a new country Gavi full portfolio plan that aligns with the government’s priorities.

The new plan is expected to support the government’s efforts to reach unvaccinated populations, which is in line with Kenya’s goal of achieving universal health coverage.

Eng. Peter Tum expressed gratitude for the support received from Gavi over the years and reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring a smooth transition while exploring all available options to achieve the goal of providing universal access to vaccines.

The Kenyan government’s recognition of the need to seek alternative sources of funding for its national vaccination program is a significant step towards ensuring sustainability.

The government aims to accelerate the transition from Gavi support by 2030, which requires a comprehensive plan to ensure a smooth and efficient process.

To achieve this goal, the Kenyan government is exploring various grant opportunities, including the Health System Strengthening (HSS) and the Equity Accelerator Fund (EAF) grant.

These grants may require the establishment of a well-staffed National Vaccines and Immunization Programme (NVIP) and project management unit.

Furthermore, Kenya may be eligible to apply for the Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform (CCEOP) grant, which requires a co-payment of more than Sh300 million (US$2.3 million).

These alternative funding sources are crucial in sustaining the national vaccination program, given that Kenya has been a beneficiary of Gavi Support since 2001, receiving approximately Sh94.7 billion (US$715 million) in vaccines and related supplies.

Gavi has played an instrumental role in Kenya’s vaccination program, including funding for malaria vaccine introduction into routine immunization.

Gavi also supported the introduction of the Cholera oral vaccine in the country, where an outbreak has claimed 121 lives.

However, with Kenya’s transition from Gavi support, the country is now seeking alternative sources of funding.

One of the main reasons for this is the deep cuts in donor funding to health programs. This poses a significant challenge for the new regime, with family planning, HIV, malaria, and TB programs being the most affected due to their heavy reliance on donor funding.

Donors have been gradually reducing aid, forcing Kenya to foot its health bill since it is now a middle-income country.

The Kenyan government’s efforts to explore alternative funding sources are essential in ensuring the sustainability of the national vaccination program.

However, it is important to note that sustained funding is crucial for the continued success of other health programs.

The Kenyan government needs to continue exploring alternative sources of funding to ensure the continued success of its health programs and to achieve universal health coverage.

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