CNCS Mozambique visits the Kenya Key Populations Technical Support Unit
In partnership with the Global Fund, the South to South Learning Network (SSLN), supported a one-week learning visit from 11th July 2022 to 15th July 2022 between Mozambique and Kenya to set up an HIV Technical Support Unit. Dr. Ruth Laibon-Masha, PhD, CEO of NACC Kenya, led the host delegation, while Dr. Francisco Mbofana, Secretário Executivo do CNCS, led the visiting delegation.
While Mozambique has made progress toward reducing the new HIV infections, data indicates that the country’s HIV prevalence among the key populations remains high compared to the general population. Furthermore, despite the investment to scale up the HIV interventions targeting the Key Populations, Mozambique still faces gaps such as suboptimal integrated and comprehensive HIV interventions, weak monitoring and tracking systems and structural barriers that should be addressed to optimise the HIV prevention program.
With a newly established technical support unit, SSLN provided Mozambique with an opportunity to visit Kenya to learn from the experiences they have lived through in setting up and optimising the same unit in their country.
The learning visit was intended to improve the theoretical and practical knowledge of the establishment of the TSU, with a focus on policy and programmatic approaches. Additionally, it focused on empowering the team on how to develop tools for managing and implementing programs for key populations such as measurement of the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions, specific prevention and care and treatment interventions, evidence-based approach, guidelines and manuals.
“There are valuable lessons they can learn from Kenya right from how the programme is coordinated to the role of the TSU in improving the quality of services provided to this population.” Dr. Ruth Masha, CEO, NACC
Dr. Ruth Masha, the CEO of the NACC, officially opened the meeting and welcomed the delegation to Kenya. In her remarks, she noted the key role that the the key populations play in HIV prevention. As a result, she noted, the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health (MOH), NACC and NASCOP, is committed to embracing a multi-sectoral approach in the planning, development, implementation and monitoring of key populations programmes to ensure equitable access to HIV prevention and treatment programmes and services for key populations.
Mary Mugambi, the Key Populations program manager at NASCOP gave an overview of the Kenya National Key Population Program with a focus on the Medically Assisted Therapy (MAT) program. She axplained that despite the notable success in scaling up the methadone program in kenya, Kenya has learnt valuable lessons that could help Mozambique get the best out of their MAT program.
Mary Mugambi of NASCOP with Dr. Francisco Mbifana of CNCS Mozambique.
The next four days of the visit saw the team visit various Key Populations programmes in Nairobi. The Mozambique team alongside a team from NASCOP, NACC and SSLN visited the Ngara MAT clinic, Health Options for Young Men on AIDS (HOYMAS), Bar Hostess Empowerment Programme (BHESP),Jinsiangu and the prisons MAT programme at the Ruiru Prisons.
“ I’m impressed by the great desire learn that was demonstrated by the Mozambique team. Dr Mbofana and the TSU team members were challenged to maximise on the lessons learnt to make an impact in their KP programme.” Helgar Musyoki, Global Fund.
“Let the government take the lead in the Key Populations HIV response. Collaborating with donors, and implementing partners will be a great way to enhance the synergy.” Dr. Rose Wafula, NASCOP.