The Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO) is a national membership network of NGOs, CBOs, and FBOs, Private Sector actors, Research and Learning Institutions involved in or that have interest in HIV & AIDS , TB and other public health care concerns in Kenya such as Malaria, Nutrition, Community Harm Reduction(among injecting drug users) among others.
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Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO)
Regent Management Limited Court
Opposite Nairobi Womens Hospital
Argwings Kodhek Road/ Block C
P.O. Box 69866-00400, Nairobi - Kenya
Landline: 020 2323533/020 2434615/020 20323506/020 2322657
More info on COVID-19
KANCO Partnered with the Beyond Zero Medical Safari 5th Edition
Grateful #becauseyougave to the Global Fund
KANCO Immunization Outreach
Photos from Anglophone Africa CCM Dialogue Forum
From right, Jack Ndegwa, head health policy and Advocacy KANCO, Harry Mwangi, Director agricultural research and innovation Ministry Of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MOALF), Habab Sheikh Abdi, director of primary education, John Gachigi, head of social protection sec
retariat, and far left Sharon Momanyi (Moderator), in a panel session during the 3rd Agri-nutrition conference.
Cabinet Secretary Health Siciliy Kariuki, making remarks and there after launching the Eastern Africa Harm Reduction Network during the 1st Eastern Africa Harm Reduction conference
Cabinet Secretary Health Siciliy Kariuki (Centre), Director of medical services Dr. Jackson Kioko, Head of preventive and promotive services
(NASCOP)-Dr. Peter Cherutich, Executive Director KANCO, Mr. Allan Ragi Delegates from the Eastern Africa UNODC, Ministry of Health and other
stakeholders pose for a photo during the opening ceremony of the conference
TB ARC PHASE II GRANT SIGNING
Launching The KANCO E.D` Career Biography
"Turning the Tide "
Unveiling of the 2016/ 2020 KANCO Strategic Plan
Healthy People, Empowered Communities
To improve Health and well- being among communities through capacity building and promotion of innovative leadership
KANCO is a membership organization established in the early 1990s in Kenya with operations in the Eastern Africa region. Its membership comprises of Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), and Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), Network organizations and learning institutions that have a focus on health advocacy and or implementing health programs.
There are no upcoming events at this time.
Inside this issue;
Marking the World Breastfeeding Week 2020
Strengthening the Community Covid19 Response
Global Fund Strategy Development: Take part in the Survey
might be speaking for myself here but when the virus was first reported, in
China to be specific, I didn’t give much thought to it. “It’s quite far and plus China can handle this” IBrushed it off as am sure most people
did. But as days turned into weeks and weeks into months the numbers kept
rising and more countries became affected, and we all watched as the virus
slowly turned into a global nightmare and right into our doorsteps.
the Government and your organizations measures to protect you were effected, you
attended (and maybe still do,) sensitization
meetings on Zoom because you needed to learn. You are scared and desperate and
any information you could get even if it means tattooing it on your skin you
will do it. You go to the supermarket to buy a hand sanitizers and do some shopping
but due to mass shopping panic that happened a while back, you can’t get some
Items you would normally pass. They literally moved from being unwanted to
essentials!! After a Month or so, cases
of Layoffs and Unpaid leaves grace your Television Screen, things got thick
the first case was reported, Kenya has put in place measures to prevent the
spread such as encouraging social distancing and isolation for 14 days to
visiting persons in the Country and as the confirmed cases rose, a curfew was
introduced. The airspace in most countries were closed with only evacuations
allowed for a limited time. The global space has shrunk all thanks to the
all know the extent of the effects to which the Virus has caused. Countries on
lockdown, deaths and generally an awful way to end the first quarter of the
year. Though a terrible disease, I want to look at it from another perspective.
It has uncovered a lot of gaps, gaps which needless to say we must address. As
a nation we must honestly evaluate the capabilities of our health systems and
ask ourselves pertinent questions. What are the gaps we ought to address within
our health care systems? Are we able to take care of the vulnerable
groups? As citizens are we going to stop
maintaining the practice of hand washing with soap and water after the virus is
long gone or contained? Among others.
may have a few ideas and so do you but I what I stand by, is this. We must
maintain the hand washing practice at ALL
cost. This virus has proven to us that it can be done and we need to continue
with it. It should be done before boarding a public vehicle, entering a Government
institution, offices, places of worship, school, Ferry you name it. This will
not only help reduce the spread of this virus but also a load of other public
health concerns such as Cholera and even TB.
of TB, there are tons of similarities between the symptoms of TB and COVID
19, and maybe the few lesson we have
learnt on TB could apply observing general hygiene practices like covering your mouth when you cough and/or
sneeze, and if you generally feel unwell visit the health facility near you
. Likewise we can protect ourselves from
COVID-19 and TB by practicing safe distancing. If you can work from Home then
do it, Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face in general as
that is a point of entry for the Virus. Take care of your mental health it’s
okay to be scared. We uncover new things about it daily, so do whatever you can
do to remain sane. Exercise daily there is a ton of YouTube tutorials that can
show you easy and not so easy work out exercises. Do the FIVE.
the partial lockdown of Nairobi, Mandera Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale Counties, TB
patients who need to transverse between Counties such as Kwale and Mombasa will
be affected. Greatly! This may contribute to an increase in defaulter case and
relapse cases in the coming months if we do not put proper strategies in place
such as drug refill for a longer time for those that are in continuation phase.
This will also affect the nutrition aspect of the patients as Nutrition in TB
is important. Contact tracing is affected hence the visible signs of the
effects of the Virus will be visible in the coming months after the COVID-19 is
managed. As for now, if we can continue to give the much needed attention to
the Virus and also not neglect the other diseases that need our attention we
will have a medical crisis of its own kind.
the world has recovered, we will need to seriously look into our health care
systems. Can Universal Health Coverage fill in the gaps in our health care
system? Can making NHIF a Social Insurance help in health financing? All this
we need to put it in out to-do list of the year because it’s safe to say some
for your new-year resolutions are not going to be met this year. I have not yet
made peace with that. I believe things will not go back to normal because
normal is what got us here in the first place and what we do right now will
affect how we will operate in the remainder of the year. This pandemic is both
a lesson and an experience and we have to live it.
Stay Safe. Be well. Stay
By: Sammy Kihiu, TB program Assistant
As we ease into the seemingly new normal in
compliance with ‘Social and distancing’ and minimizing unnecessary movement, in
response to the COVID-19-pandemic and as this new culture takes shape, it is
not without culture shock. The stark glare of the pandemic, the fear, the
uncertainty, the distantness and abrupt proximity of the danger, the confusion
and the ostensibly unending days are unfolding all at once. The
pandemic which was first reported in China in December 2019, surpassed over 1
Million Infections as of April 3, 2020 and
52,238 deaths recorded so far.
Ordinarily, work flexibility
would be seen as a privilege only a few get to enjoy, but what about the
circumstantially imposed remote working?
It is also worth noting that these are not necessarily “ordinary’ times,
a global pandemic is unfolding as we watch! What’s worse is that there is no
time to stand by and watch because life must go on and one important aspect of
it is continuing to work albeit from home.
For the employer questions of productivity and value
for money linger especially if and when flexi hours is on a first time basis
yet a necessary evil. For the employee even more questions suffice; how to set up the infrastructure to effectively bring
the office into the house and deliver. For those with families, how to balance
the work schedule and family while in the same space for extended hours becomes
a daily affair. What about productivity both qualitatively and quantitatively? What
next after the seemingly infinite lockdown will I still have a job? Uncertainties loom as employers also have to
deal with unchartered territory.
As a human being, and being used
to routine, first you are also tasked to explain to your children (if you have
them) why you have to work with the TV on even when you said TV should always
be off when focusing on serious matters, but you need to stay on top of things
as far as the pandemic goes, by hopefully catching real time updates.
For most of us, the adult life
has meant an 8am-5pm job, and this has for the longest time helped define the
line between our homes and the workplace, but overnight these walls have
collapsed and no one knows when they will be rebuilt, although we are asked to
keep the hope alive. The world has been ushered into the cruelty of a virus so
lethal, which has not just put our humanity to test, but also gripped us with
fear and lots of introspection. But we know that life must go on, bills must be
paid and mostly importantly we must safeguard our health as we all have a lot
of rebuilding to do after this turbulence is over. The transition has yet gain
brought out the resilient nature of human beings, and working from home has
been one of those novel experiences that is laden with lessons for many who
haven’t done it before:
Drastic changes requires drastic adjustments. For most of the people who have always
separated the office and workplace function, the sudden move of the office to
your home means re adjustment to bring the office amenities to the household.
Beyond the need for infrastructure( computer, internet), is the need for a
quiet working space, and for most people this has become either the dining
table or the bedroom but if you have the
tiny running, hyper active and over
energized soldiers then your best bet is
the bedroom working under lock and key.
Time management is an utmost discipline. Suddenly we all have a lot
of time in our hands but confronted with very few options. An old adage goes,
to whom much is given, much is expected, and this time we are almost all
equally gifted with long extended hours at home. Managing this time becomes critical
to achieve an effective work and life or is it home balance. Once we have
attended to the work needs, we have been forced to become creative in spending
time to make the stay at home interesting.
Technological savviness is inevitable:
With the transition almost all services have become virtual, with technology being employed in sharing, meetings, group
tasks and even conferences. Suddenly
distant IT terms like ‘Microsoft teams, drop box, we transfer, documents
collaborations etc have become inevitable. Needless to say some people are more
challenged than others, but one thing that is clear is that we cannot avoid
technology. Virtual IT support has become
the norm but this means you have to work on the nuts and bolts of learning
software yourself. But take it in stride, it’s all in the learning curve!
Work life balance taken literally– for the longest time we’ve been guilty
of tossing the statement work life balance and especially in relation to the
family. However the full experience had been limited to the weekends that are
further disrupted by personal errands, limiting it to a few hours of
interaction. However, the experience of being under the same floor with our
families for extended houses 24/ 7 is almost surreal. Gone are the days
families would exchange small talk and pleasantries between catching up on
news, doing homework and having dinner together before catching sleep for a few
hours before the routine replays. With
no school or much engagements outside, there is all the time and suddenly there
is need to have longer and hopefully meaningful and impactful conversations as
a unit. Consequently, many people are relearning their children, spouses, and
partners and even rediscovering themselves and their hidden talents and gifts,
given the time in our hands.
When to hold and when to let go: When initially catching up on the
news every second was critically important for most people, as the pandemic
evolves, some people have sometimes opted to have a media block. This could be so as to avoid
unnecessary panic but also to focus on works or maybe it’s the adjustment
setting in, that actually working from home can happen. In the face of such a
pandemic, psychologists have advised that keeping off the negative news is
important, as it may have negative consequences on your health.
The true value of colleagueship- Once upon a time before
COVID-19, weekends and sometimes
working away from the office was one of those welcome breaks from sometimes
monotonous office spaces with the same people and same vibe. But as the days go by, and with every
consultation coming at a cost,
and brainstorming sessions having to be
preplanned unlike when you’d just walk up to a colleague to pick the brain on
an issue, the invaluable importance of the these engagements is becoming avid.
We are slowly learning that the 8 hours that sometimes came across as toilsome,
offered a lot in terms of comradeship that we may have often downplayed. Boundaries have not just been challenged but
Health is the greatest wealth; with the globe grinding to a halt because
of the virus, there has been great introspection of what ones health and the
health of a nation means and the need to safeguard health as the greatest
As we continue to novel our experiences,
we must remain positive and hopeful, because after this tide, we have an
opportunity to not just rebuild but to better what we previously had.
By Wachira Charity- Communications Officer KANCO.
A trait common in both Tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19 (Corona Virus) is the characteristic fast and easy spread in the absence of – or non-adherence to – strict prevention measures. Their highly communicable nature can easily overwhelm a health system with adverse fountain effects to normal life.
Over the last one month, most of the
world’s crucial activities have wound down with some countries and cities
completely ground to a halt following the exponential spread of COVID-19.
With the pandemic having grabbed total
global attention, the World TB Day 2020 may pass unnoticed or receive very
little attention if any.
The World TB Day is an important
marker of the global TB response where countries take stock of their
achievements, challenges, highlight plans and recommit, yet again, to ending
If WTBD 2020 passes silently, as it may likely do with all the attention directed to COVID-19, we may miss a good chance to reflect on our proactiveness, and/or readiness to deal with such diseases.
Historically, most countries
capitalize on March 24 (World TB Day) and the run up days to create awareness,
galvanising political goodwill, setting targets and outlining goals in efforts
to eliminating the menace.
Without overemphasizing on the
attention given to COVID-19, it is almost unfair that the much older and more
persistent TB has not drawn such immense response.
As a matter of fact, mortality due
to TB, largely compounded by poor housing and living conditions in low income
communities, has not triggered as much enthusiasm in addressing the squalid
living conditions or the weak health systems and extremely limited political
will, supplies and human resources to catapult preparedness as its younger
counterpart COVID-19 has done.
Whereas this comparison may be
criticised, the uniqueness in the COVID-19 response lifts the lid on our
shortcomings in salient responses towards strengthening the fight against
communicable diseases like TB.
First, it has managed to garner global
attention and concerted efforts not just by leveraging great political good
will across global leaders, but also has revolutionised research efforts
globally, with scientists working round the clock to find relief / cure for
Secondly, it has reinvigorated
philanthropy towards combating it as well as great citizen support for the
Thirdly, there has been a remarkable
breakthrough in technology and health systems strengthening. China set the pace
with the construction of a state of the art quarantine facility in a record 10
days. I use the word quarantine emphatically given that its one of the biggest
challenges we have in African health systems in the TB response, despite being
an important structure in the TB management and control we still are lagging
behind being in setting out this isolation facilities.
Fourth, the information flow through
concerted global media efforts has been commendable. Citizens have had real
time updates both from global and national media on the disease evolution, with
messages on prevention, spread and who is vulnerable circulating every
second. These efforts have gone a long
way in spreading awareness and inspiring citizens to be cautions but also in
underscoring the implications of their actions on the wellness of their
communities. It is however worth mentioning that in this internet age, this
period has also seen the fuelling of many untruths and stereotypes especially
on social media, detrimental to the global efforts in the fight against the
Fifth, there is a general increase
in health seeking behaviour, citizen heath policing, an array of emergency
health hotlines and greater communications on the preparedness of the health
systems to offer services related to the COVID-19 response. In Kenya, there is
an emergency 24 hour hotline for the COVID-19 response in all the 47 counties
as well as a clear and continuous communication on the risk factors and what
needs to be done. There are general community and health systems coordinated
efforts in the response. Furthermore, government efforts on contact tracing
have been commendable, a strategy that has been traditionally used in TB
management albeit not with such
thoroughness. The briefing on the death toll and the full understanding
of the implications of the epidemic and our individual actions may have been
instrumental in promoting citizen vigilance on the pandemic.
Back to TB. Drawing comparison with
the COVID-19 response, TB claimed 1.5 million people in 2019, and there is an
estimated 10 Million cases of TB per year while COVID-19 had claimed nearly
10,000 deaths as at March 20, 2020 and over 250,000 infections since it broke
out according to WHO.
Further, for TB, a huge number of
the new cases go undetected. This fuels
fears that the WHO’s end TB
strategy by 2020 may not be on track
given that only a 6.3 percent drop compared to the 20 percent drop target in
2019 has been recorded. The death toll has fallen only by 11 percent compared
to the 35 percent target.
WHO further points out that the
fight against TB is chronically underfunded, hampering efforts to strengthen
Despite decades of ongoing advocacy
for increased political good will to end TB, increased resources for TB,
strengthening of the health systems to effectively address TB, and bold commitments
such as those made at the + United Nation High Level Meeting, globally we are
still far from ending TB.
Bearing in mind the devastating
effects of TB and the catastrophic cost of addressing the disease, one wonders
are yet to pronounce it as a global epidemic to garner more political goodwill and resources that
are needed to make eradicating TB a reality. Sadly, most countries are yet to
allocate adequate resources to curb the disease despite being signatories of
the global commitments to end TB.
In Kenya, up to 40 percent of all TB
cases are still missing (and potentially spreading the disease). TB literacy still remains very low with new
or emerging guidelines in the TB management and control, rarely reaching the
communities especially in comparison to the COVID – 19 information flow in the
short time it has been here.
As we mark this rather quiet World
TB Day, it is imperative that we truly introspect on what is needed to
realistically address TB and what role each person should play to end it.
As economies take a beating with the
World economic Forum, estimating COVID-19
to cost about $1 trillion and as nations turn to research and faith in effort to defeat
this virus, we must remember that TB remains one of the leading communicable
diseases, compounded by the evolution of the bacteria to more multi-drug resistant strains, and truly commit
to ending TB for good, because every life matters.