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Executive Director of GHI Lois Quam Visits Nairobi Hospital

NAIROBI, KENYA The newly appointed Executive Director of the Global Health Initiative (GHI)Lois Quam, visited the Mbagathi District Hospital in Nairobi for a guided tour of the facility by senior staff and partners involved in HIV comprehensive care in Kenya.  AED’s Dr. David Mwaniki, Chief of Party for the Kenya Nutrition and HIV Program (NHP), attended the event.  NHP works with Mbagathi and other local facilities to strengthen HIV care and treatment by improving the nutritional status of anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy clients, pre-ARV clients, orphans and vulnerable children, and HIV-positive pregnant and postpartum women. 

“This visit by the Global Health Initiative supports the important work we’ve undertaken and demonstrates a strong commitment on the part of the American people toward bettering the lives of Kenyans,” remarked Dr. Mwaniki.

Ms. Quam was accompanied by a cadre of US Government officials, such as the USAID/Kenya Mission Director, Erna Kerst, as well as representatives of the Kenyan Ministry of Health, including Dr. Shahnaz Kassam Sharif, Director of Public Health and Sanitation.  NHP’s APHIAPlus partners, managed by Pathfinder International and Jhpiego, also attended the site visit.  The overarching purpose of Ms. Quam’s trip was a familiarization of US Government-supported projects in Kenya.

During her opening remarks, Ms. Quam announced that the US Government has a five-year strategy with the Kenya Medical Research Institute to determine the most effective plan to reduce high rates of maternal and child mortality by strengthening health systems; integrating health care services; and increasing the demand for and awareness of available services.

“It is through these important efforts that we will serve more that three million children,” Ms.  Quam stated. “We hope that around the world we can prevent more than 12 million people from being infected by HIV.”

USAID/Kenya, which provides funding for NHP, works through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to combat the epidemic in Kenya in close partnership with the government of Kenya. PEPFAR’s program in Kenya, which was launched in 2003, represents one of the largest US Government investments in HIV globally.

Underscoring the significance of the visit, the US Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Lee Brudvig, stated that it was a great opportunity for Ms. Quam to be in the field where “the rubber meets the road” towards the realization of the dreams and aspirations of Washington. 

Posted March 2011

Read more about the Kenya Nutrition and HIV Program (NHP) project