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Pain and Sorrow To Kenyans On HIV/AIDS After Govt's Decision

For the past few years, Kenyan government has made very many steps in the fight against the deadly HIV/AIDS disease.

There has been mass sensitization concerning the need to have safe sex, undergoing regular tests and supporting people suffering from the disease.

The lives of 1.5 million HIV patients are in jeopardy as life saving drugs worth Sh2.1 billion remain stuck at the port of Mombasa over a tax dispute between Kenya and the donor, US Agency for International Development (USAid).

The antiretroviral drugs arrived in the country on January 18 but have not been cleared for entry as the Kenya Revenue Authority and USAid have failed to agree on who should pay the taxes or whether there should be any tax claim in the first place.

The government handed a Sh90 million tax bill to the American firm Chemonics, which had imported the drugs on behalf of USAid. This, the government said, was because US Aid side-stepped protocols on HIV and tuberculosis drug donations

Instead of using government channels, US Aid used a private firm and Kenya argues that the arrangement flouted tax waiver policies on government-to-government donations.

A letter to the Ministry of Health by the donors indicates that they had found it hard to obtain import permits from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) and so they cannot proceed with importation and customs clearance.

"USAid has encountered several challenges v to obtain the necessary documents from PPB to proceed with the clearance of the commod ities, specifically drugs and those for monitor ing viral loads in patients, "notes the letter.

Content created and supplied by: MaangiJob_Ke (via Opera News )

AIDS HIV Kenyan US Agency for International Development US Aid

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