UoN COEHM Project leading way in war against HIV/AIDS in Kenya

Renovated laboratory at Kenyatta National Hospital courtesy of UoN COEHM Project.

The University of Nairobi (UoN) Center of Excellence in HIV Medicine (COEHM) Project continues to lead the way in the fight against HIV in Kenya.

The project is a follow on to the UoN PACT COE project that was implemented from 2010 to 2016 and runs for five years from 2016 to 2021 under Dr. Jared Mecha, who is the Principal Investigator (PI).

Since 2016, the project has been able to attain tremendous achievements, key being cumulatively testing 717,328 persons for HIV, identified 19,672 positives and supported 14,495 persons on Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART).

The project has also been able achieve less than 2% Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) rates.

Moreover, UoN COEHM Project has facilitated renovations, construction and equipping of key areas including patient waiting areas, laboratories, pharmacies and pediatric spaces that have improved HIV care provision.

The project is funded by the US Government – President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through CDC.

Its operations are at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), Pumwani Maternity Hospital (PMH), Center for Respiratory Disease Research-Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI-CRDR) and UON KAVI.

UoN COEHM supports these institutions to enhance their capacity to provide high quality HIV prevention and treatment services with the goal of reducing new HIV infections, HIV-related morbidity and mortality; and supporting the national HIV response to grow a competent indigenous workforce of experts in HIV service delivery and advanced clinical care to sustain the HIV response beyond external support.

KNH and PMH are both pioneer national referral facilities in Kenya with KNH managing a large proportion of ART experienced patients with severe and/or complicated HIV infection including countrywide referrals.

The goal of the project is to reduce HIV incidence in the general, key and priority populations; and, eliminate HIV-associated deaths and sustain the HIV response beyond external support.

Written by: Faith Musau & Dennis Omido