Monday, July 25, 2022

The Vice Chancellor UoN, Prof. Stephen Kiama led a fact finding mission for the University of Nairobi Central Kenya Response Integration, Strengthening and Sustainability plus Project (CRISS+ Project) in Kiambu and Kirinyaga Counties on July 25th and 26th 2022. The Vice Chancellor was accompanied by Prof Prof Evelyn Waigayu, Ag. Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, the Principal Investigator, Dr. Jared Mecha. The VC met and had fruitful discussions with Dr. Joseph Murega, the County Executive Committee Member for Health, Kiambu County, Dr Evelyn Ngugi, from CDC, as well as representatives from Kiambu and Kirinyaga County Health Departments.

The University of Nairobi CRISS+ Project is a 5 year (2017-2022) CDC/PEPFAR-funded HIV prevention, care & treatment project in partnership with Kiambu &Kirinyaga County Departments of Health, the Kiambu People Living with HIV/AIDS (KIPEWA) Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Liverpool VCT (LVCT), Hope Worldwide Kenya (HWWK) and Minority People Empowerment Group (MPEG).

During the two-day mission, the delegation visited and commissioned 14 of the 78 sites that have been supported by the UoN CRISS+. The overarching objective of the program is to build capacity of the public health response in Kirinyaga and Kiambu counties to achieve and maintain universal access to high quality HIV prevention, care and treatment services, with particular focus on county and community ownership, integration within the broader health and developmental context, through an evidence based, cost-effective and sustainable model of care. 

The Vice Chancellor commissioned health systems strengthening projects undertaken in Gichuru, Kiandutu, Makongeni and Uthiru Health Centres , Ruiru Sub County Hospital, and Thika Level 5 Hospital in Kiambu County. In Kirinyaga county, the delegation visited Kerugoya County Referral Hospital, Kianyaga Sub County Hospital , Defathas Health Centre and Kibimbi Sub County Hospital.  The UoN CRISS plus project supported by US Government – President’s Emergency Plan   for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through CDC has achieved great milestones in the mentioned Counties with most facilities recording significant efficiency in delivery of services in their HIV Comprehensive Care Clinics (CCC).  

In most clinics, the UoN CRISS+ project supported infrastructural improvements through refurbishing and expansion of consultation rooms, waiting bays and laboratories; and supply of medical equipment and supplies, human resource, and technical assistance. These developments have further contributed towards improved universal access to and retention in comprehensive quality HIV care for PLHIV in these Counties as well as acceleration towards elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV through the integration of PMTCT into antenatal, maternal and child health care services.  In 2019 for example, a total of 997,386 persons were tested for HIV, 22,857 identifying positive and 89% linked to treatment. PMCT coverage has increased to 100% while the viral suppression increased from 21% in 2013 to 95% in 2019.  

Upgrading of the Kerugoya County Referral Hospital (KeCRH) lab and installation of the queue management systems at the KeCRH CCC and other renovation works at smaller facilities such as Kimbimbi SCH and Kianyaga SCH were acknowledged for their contribution to client centered care and overall satisfaction.

In Thika Level 5 the UoN CRISS Plus project has supported peer to peer advocacy among teenagers living positively by providing a safe haven where they can share their experiences as they navigate through care and treatment and to ensure retention in care.

The CRISSP+ team also delivered an assortment of IT and clinical equipment during the visit. The CEC Kiambu County, Dr. Murega, said he was really humbled by the good gesture and promised that the County would continue collaborating with the partner in provision of quality services to the people of Kiambu.

Prof. Kiama expressed his appreciation to the UoN CRISS plus team who have impacted the communities in the two counties through their work during the project period.
“We are proud of the work that has been done in collaboration with Kiambu and Kirinyaga County Health departments. This is in line with the University’s commitment to engaging and impacting communities around us,” Said Prof. Kiama

Speaking on behalf of CDC, Dr. Evelyne Ngugi commended the high level of fidelity of project implementation displayed by the UoN CRISS Plus Team.