Kenya: Ministry of Health Refutes Claims of Substandard HIV Testing Kits 1

Kenya: Ministry of Health Refutes Claims of Substandard HIV Testing Kits

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The Ministry of Health has refuted claims that there are substandard HIV testing kits in the country. In a statement, PS Medical Services Hillary Kimtai said that the claims of poor HIV testing services may claw back the gains made in response to the HIV pandemic.

Kimtai said, “The Ministry of Health is deeply concerned about claims of poor quality of HIV testing services in the country. It is important that the gains made in the response to HIV are not rolled back due to misinformation,”

Kimtai asserted that the ministry has a robust pharmacovigilance system which is under the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and monitors the HIV testing quality in Kenya.

“The MoH’s routine capacity-building efforts, the independent pharmacovigilance systems under the PBB, and the robust quality assurance proficiency testing routinely monitor and safeguard the quality of HIV testing in Kenya.

Kenya: Ministry of Health Refutes Claims of Substandard HIV Testing Kits 2

“The WHO also supports member countries in global pharmacovigilance. There is no advisory on the poor quality of HIV testing in Kenya.”

His sentiments come after the ministry was sued by a Chinese firm for alleged substandard HIV testing kits. Kimtai says that the country ranks among the top ten countries that have followed directives by the World Health Organization to adopt a three-step algorithm in order to strengthen the diagnosis of HIV.

The PS shared, “Following a stringent process for adopting WHO protocol to the country by a stakeholder task force, Kenya is among the first 10 countries transitioning to the three test algorithm for HIV diagnosis,”

Kimtai said that WHO highlights protocols that only allow different test kits which are used for HIV diagnosis. “The three-test algorithm marks a pivotal advancement in diagnostic accuracy which is critical in Kenya’s fight against HIV and AIDS, underscoring the ministry’s dedication to the health and well-being of citizens,”

Kenya ranks at position seven with about 1.4 million people living with the virus. According to 2023 statistics about 1,336,234 people were receiving HIV treatment at the 3752 facilities across the country.

Over eight million HIV tests are conducted across different populations in more than 8,851 facilities for testing across the country yearly. Kimtai asserted that this progress is a result of consistent policy guidance by the ministry that aims to ensure accurate HIV testing, prevention services, and comprehensive care for Kenyans.

Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai stated, “Despite recent challenges questioning the quality of HIV testing services, the Ministry of Health reaffirms its unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards,”

He reiterated that “through rigorous capacity-building initiatives and robust quality assurance measures, the Ministry ensures the reliability and safety of testing services.”

Kimtai assured that Kenya remains committed to fighting against HIV even after ranking globally for its HIV pandemic. He said, “With approximately 1.4 million individuals living with HIV (PLHIV), the country persists in delivering comprehensive care and preventive measures,” he said.

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