Doreen Moraa Moracha, founder of “I am A Beautiful Story” is calling for a speedy resolution to the tussle between the government of Kenya and US Agency for International Development (USAID), which has resulted in shortage of Anti Retro Viral drugs in Kenya.
“We are in the middle of a pandemic plus ARV shortage is a bad combination,” she says. My ARVs give me hope of being healthy but now with the standoff …….all we are left with is God, hoping that soon we don’t have to worry.”
Doreen has lived with the virus for 28 years – since birth.
According to the Kenya Population-based HIV Impact Assessment 2018, about 1.3 million adults in Kenya are living with HIV/AIDS. The GoK-USAID tax dispute involves a consignment of HIV and Tuberculosis drugs, which arrived into the country on January 18. The government is demanding Ksh90 million from Chemonics International, a private company that imported the drugs on behalf of USAID.
Doreen joins a growing chorus of activists and campaigners who are piling pressure on the two institutions to end the dispute.
“We are concerned for our people. We are concerned that we are going to have more deaths, probably more than they are dying of Covid-19,” Homa Bay woman representative Gladys Wanga said.
In addition to the ARVs, testing kits are in short supply.
“There is also an acute shortage of rapid test kids. The only way you test people and get them into treatment is through the rapid test. Currently, they are only choosing who to test because many facilities do not have these kits,” Wanga added.