Nairobi, Kenya, April 7, 2023 – In commemoration of the World Health Day 2023 today themed ‘Health for all’, the END Fund and the County First Ladies Association have officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand their partnership in the delivery of interventions, including advocacy, public health financing, and resource mobilization, to contribute to the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Kenya.
NTDs are a group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that affect more than one billion people worldwide, the majority of whom are economically disadvantaged. The diseases often cause severe symptoms that significantly hinder the ability of an individual to lead an independent life. NTDs have devastating health, social, and economic consequences.
Kenya bears a significant burden, with more than half of its population in need of treatment for at least one NTD. In 2011, Kenya became the first nation in Africa to launch a five-year national plan (2011-2015) for the integrated control of NTDs. In 2018, Kenya launched the first IDA treatment program in Africa, a new treatment with the potential to reduce the time to treat and break transmission of lymphatic filariasis from five years to approximately two years. The program is a key step towards achieving elimination of lymphatic filariasis in Kenya. In 2018, Kenya was also certified as free of guinea worm disease and is committed to achieving control and elimination for intestinal worms, bilharzia, lymphatic filariasis, and trachoma through its National Breaking Transmission Strategy (2018-2023).
Dr. Carol Karutu, Vice President, Programs – The END Fund, “These diseases are an economic drain. They cause disability, malnutrition, and stunted growth, forcing children out of school and adults out of work. But NTDs are entirely preventable and treatable. For every 50 US cents invested in a school-aged child per year, their community gains $25 in investments and opportunities.
The END Fund supports NTD programs that are innovative, integrated, and cost-effective, and make the most efficient use of capital. We are confident that through our collaboration with CFLA, we will be able to design and implement relevant, appropriate, and high-impact NTD programs at the national and county levels, in order to promote health and improve the lives of people across Kenya.”
County First Ladies Association (CFLA) advocates for social-development programs that improve the health and economic empowerment of women and children. CFLA seeks to promote the advancement of Kenya in attaining the next level of socio-economic growth, in line with the group’s vision for the creation of a vibrant platform for citizens to dialogue, network, exchange information and engage in strategic action to improve their welfare. In working with the END Fund, CFLA is supporting the critical role partnerships have to play in ending NTDs in Kenya and supporting the First Ladies agenda.
H.E Alamitu Jattani – CFLA, “Our objective as an association is to amplify the voices of women and children in our community and address their challenges. In this regard, we join The END Fund in championing the eradication of the NTDS in our communities.
We note that NTDs affect the less fortunate and under-privileged in the society who in most cases are not able to seek or afford treatment on their own.
We implore both the national and county governments to also focus on enhancing efforts in building healthy communities as they develop the country’s infrastructure.”
Since 2012, Kenya has been a priority country for the END Fund, working with various stakeholders, supported by the Ministries of Health (MoH) and Education (MoE), to aid in treatments of all school-age and pre-school aged children and adults for intestinal worms and schistosomiasis, as well as support community-wide treatment in endemic areas through Kenya’s National Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (NPELF).
The MoU will enable collaboration between The END Fund and CFLA, to promote health and improve the living conditions for county residents by designing and implementing relevant, and high impact NTD programs at National and County levels by 2027.
The signing ceremony was attended by the chairperson of the County First Ladies Association, Her Excellency Alamitu Jattani, The END Fund’s Vice President of Programs, Dr. Carol Karutu, and other key representatives.
About The END Fund
The END Fund is a private philanthropic initiative that exists to end the most prevalent neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The fund efficiently puts private capital to work, advocating for NTD programs that are innovative, integrated, and cost-effective. It facilitates strong partnerships with the private sector, government partners, and local implementing partners to collaboratively support national disease programs. This is done through a proven implementation model that is tailored to meet the needs of individual countries, with the view to fostering healthier communities, protected from the risks of NTDs. Since its founding in 2012, along with partners, the END Fund has distributed over 1 billion treatments across 31 countries, performed over 43,000 blindness and disability-preventing surgeries, and trained nearly 3.5 million health workers to pre-empt and treat NTDs. More at www.end.org
About the County First Ladies Association (CFLA)
The County First Ladies Association (CFLA) is a forum of female spouses of elected Governors from the Counties in Kenya. The Association was formed in 2014, shortly after the commencement of the County Government system of governance following the 2013 general election. CFLA is a non-political and non-religious association, whose membership requirement is being a female spouse of a sitting Governor. CFLA seeks to advocate and promote economic, social, health and cultural rights and programs in the Counties.