Lessons From HIV Prevention, Treatment In Kenya May Help Inform Response To Growing NCD Epidemic
Huffington Post: A Christian Warrior For Health Takes On Chronic Disease After Battling AIDS
David J. Olson, global health communications expert
“…[M]any Kenyans are surviving AIDS only to live long enough to be killed by [noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)]. … Health programs, therefore, must turn their attention to this new pandemic without losing focus on the existing one (AIDS). … [The Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK)], a network of Protestant church facilities in Kenya, … made significant contributions to the national fight against AIDS in the four most populous provinces of the country with support from various programs funded by the U.S. government and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as Kenyan domestic sources. … ‘A key learning from HIV programs was that you cannot build awareness until there is treatment,’ said [Samuel Mwenda, general secretary and CEO of CHAK]. ‘It’s the same with NCDs. It’s access to treatment that gets individuals and families to learn about heart disease and diabetes and to come forward for diagnosis. When people see others in their communities living long, healthy, and productive lives despite NCDs, it makes them more willing to invest their own time and resources in treatment’…” (6/21).