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President Uhuru Kenyatta Statement on HIV/AIDS

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President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing meeting on AIDS President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing meeting on AIDS

I addressed a high level meeting on anti-retroviral therapy in Africa which discussed ways of ensuring access to lifesaving medicine to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Kenya has scaled up its war against HIV/Aids by setting aside $26 million in its 2015/16 budget for the purchase of anti-retroviral drugs. I affirmed my commitment to making Kenya the third country in Africa to control HIV epidemic after Botswana and Namibia.

Long-term options, including providing HIV treatment as part of national health insurance, setting up HIV and health funds that will leverage government financing and fostering strategic private public partnerships are urgently required. I urged Africa’s development partners to bridge the financing gap in combating the HIV/Aids in order to foster more equal partnerships.

Such global commitment with targets, investments and actions could well result in averting 28 million new infections and 21 million Aids related deaths by 2030. I underscored the need for a joint India-Africa cooperation framework on health commodity security, as part of an enhanced partnership in the war against HIV/Aids.

A framework focused on health commodity security would facilitate local manufacturing capacity and promote technology transfer for production of high quality medicines that would be accessible and affordable to those who require them. With the imminent changes for Indian manufacturers and an increasing number of African countries graduating to a middle income country status, such a framework needs to safeguard and extend the HIV related flexibilities under the trade and intellectual property rights.

Kenya is adopting policies for incubation of local industries for commodities and pharmaceutical products. We are taking the lead on pharmaceutical testing, utilizing our WHO prequalified laboratory, one of five in Africa. I urged India to continue producing generic anti-retroviral medication at the quantities required for the rapid scale up of accessibility until the African pharmaceutical industry is fully developed. India can contribute by ensuring that trade agreements do not infringe on HIV/Aids flexibilities.

One of the key agenda items at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, which Kenya will host this December, will be the long-pending Doha agenda which will deal with issues relevant to intellectual property rights in addition to leveraging an enhanced and equitable India-Africa partnership.

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