CDC in Kenya
The CDC Foundation sent insecticide-treated bed nets to children in Kenya to help prevent malaria. Children under five years of age are at greatest risk for malaria and comprise 90% of all deaths from malaria in Kenya.
For more than 40 years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has helped strengthen Kenya’s public health and laboratory systems and operate an integrated research center. CDC Kenya helps implement the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).
CDC Areas of Focus
Implement, monitor, evaluate, and scale-up public health programs. In partnership with the Government of Kenya, CDC helps prevent disease and death by implementing evidence-based public health programs.
Enhance surveillance and health information systems by:
- Supporting the development and implementation of population and facility-based disease surveillance systems to assess disease burden in communities, identify outbreaks, and evaluate the impact of health interventions.
- Spearheading state-of-the-art and mobile data collection systems.
- Implementing the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) program. CHAMPS identifies causes of stillbirths and under-five mortality from 10 countries, including Kenya.
- Supporting the Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS). More than 260,000 people are part of the HDSS that collects population age, structure and density, fertility rates, birth rates, death rates, and in- and out-migrations information every six months in Siaya County. A second HDSS site with about 73,000 people was established in Kisumu city to support the CHAMPS program.
Strengthen public health workforce capacity by training future public health leaders in clinical, laboratory, public health science, program management, and leadership competencies.
Strengthen laboratory systems by building the critical laboratory network necessary to assure health security.
Enhance emergency preparedness and response capabilities by strengthening the ability to rapidly detect and contain infectious disease threats as well as respond to natural and man-made disasters.
Conduct research to inform policy and practice, such as:
- Partnering with stakeholders, including the National Institutes of Health, on clinical trials and evaluating new vaccines, diagnostics, and prevention strategies.
- Collaborating with partners in Kenya and globally to use evidence gained through research to develop and implement effective public health policies applicable to low resource settings.
The first case of COVID-19 in Kenya was confirmed on March 12, 2020. CDC provided surveillance and laboratory platforms that were adapted to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. U.S. government investments, through CDC, strengthened the Government of Kenya’s COVID-19 response.
CDC Kenya provided close to $2.5 million to support the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout in 14 counties from March 2021 to July 2022. Through this U.S. government support over 600,000 people were fully vaccinated
Global Health Security
CDC conducts surveillance to better understand emerging health threats and how to prevent them. This strengthens Kenya’s ability to rapidly detect and respond to disease outbreaks and other health threats.
- CDC’s Diagnostics and Laboratory Systems Program helps develop state-of-the-art diagnostic capacity to process and test for infectious diseases.
- The Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) has trained over 800 future global health leaders with basic, intermediate, and advanced skills in applied epidemiology and laboratory management.
- Risk Communication and Emergency Response Programs provide training and technical support to first responders, humanitarian organizations, and the Government of Kenya
- Infectious Disease Surveillance Platforms are based in 12 facilities and multiple communities serve as sentinel and early warning systems for pathogen detection, seroprevalence estimation, mortality surveillance, and event-based surveillance.
CDC-supported laboratories test and confirm approximately 52% of the disease outbreaks in Kenya per year
HIV & Tuberculosis (TB)
CDC supports the Government of Kenya’s efforts to expand and strengthen national HIV prevention, care, treatment, and surveillance. CDC provides technical and financial support through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
- HIV Prevention: CDC works with and funds partners that offer HIV testing and counseling, voluntary medical male circumcision, evidence-based behavioral interventions, and prevention programs for key and priority populations at high risk for HIV.
- HIV Care and Treatment: CDC helps hundreds of thousands of Kenyans receive care and treatment, including services for pregnant women and mothers with HIV to reduce risk of mother-to-child transmission.
- Health Systems and Evaluation: CDC strengthens health systems and improves data quality, programs, and scientific dissemination to advance Kenya’s national HIV response.
- Surveillance and Epidemiology: CDC provides expert guidance in implementing HIV surveillance and conducting research to improve programs and inform HIV policy.
- Laboratory, Blood Safety, and Infection Control: CDC focuses on improving the accessibility and quality of laboratory services and reducing the risk of HIV and other bloodborne pathogen infections through improved blood safety and infection control practices in healthcare and laboratory facilities.
- Tuberculosis: CDC supports surveillance for multidrug resistant TB and evaluation of novel TB diagnostics.
Nearly all HIV-infected TB patients treated in CDC-supported sites were on ART during TB treatment and more than 85% of PLHIV have received TB preventive treatment
U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) provides technical assistance as part of an interagency team with USAID to design, implement, and evaluate key malaria prevention and control activities in close coordination with the Government of Kenya and other partners. PMI support has improved malaria prevention and treatment measures in Kenya. Recent household surveys show a reduction in malaria parasite prevalence by nearly 50% over the past decade, both nationwide (11% to 6%) and in the high-burden western lake endemic region, where PMI focuses 70% of its investments (38% in 2010 to 18% in 2020).
CDC’s Malaria and Entomology Branches have collaborated with Kenya Medical Research Institute’s (KEMRI) since 1979 to establish one of the premier malaria research field stations in the world. KEMRI is in Western Kenya, an area of persistently high malaria transmission.
PMI contributed to delivery of over 5 million insecticide-treated bed nets, protected 2 million people from malaria with indoor residual spraying, protected over 1 million pregnant women from malaria with preventive treatments, and procured over 3 million malaria treatment doses and 1 million malaria rapid diagnostic tests, from October 2020 – September 2021.
Global Research Hub
Global Research Hub studies are implemented in collaboration with host nation research institutions. This is CDC’s flagship international research site which has developed into a sophisticated and comprehensive platform for scientific study and service delivery particularly in the fields of HIV, TB, malaria, and maternal and child health. This platform attracts research projects and significant funding from academic institutions, the National Institutes of Health, and non-governmental organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
CDC’s Global Immunization Program supports the Government of Kenya and the region in developing national policies, strategies, action plans. The program also implements and monitors projects to prevent and control vaccine-preventable diseases. CDC’s activities focus on maintaining polio-free status, achieving measles elimination and rubella control, and maintaining elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus in Kenya. The program assisted the Government of Kenya in preparing for and accelerating COVID-19 vaccination.
Supported a measles-rubella vaccination campaign targeting high- and very-high-risk counties to close growing measles immunity gaps. CDC filled critical funding gaps and supported added costs for masks, sanitizer, and additional vaccination days to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during the campaign. This campaign safely vaccinated over 3 million children, more than the estimated target
CDC’s Global Migration and Quarantine Africa Program, located in Kenya, works with local and international partners to address public health needs associated with population mobility. The program is responsible for the medical requirements for U.S. immigration and refugee resettlement to prevent importation of infectious diseases of public health significance into the United States. It is anticipated that approximately 20,000 refugees per year will resettle into the United States from Africa – the largest contributor to the U.S. refugee resettlement program.
The program collaborates with other CDC programs, as well as the U.S. Department of State Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration, and US Consulates; International Organization for Migration (IOM); the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR); foreign ministries of health; and nongovernmental organizations providing healthcare and preventive services to refugee populations.
CDC provides technical assistance to partners to improve surveillance, preparedness, and response at border crossings, ports of entry, and between countries.
CDC’s Influenza Program Regional Hub in Kenya supports enhanced surveillance and laboratory capacity. This activity allows timely detection and characterization of seasonal influenza, detection of novel and emerging variants, as well as other respiratory viruses of pandemic potential. CDC works closely with partners and Ministries of Health in Kenya and other countries in the region including Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
CDC partnered with Kenya to use influenza surveillance and laboratory capacity for SARS-CoV-2 testing and leverages existing influenza research platforms to study COVID-19
- 21 U.S. Assignees
- 143 Locally Employed
- Population: >54.9 million
- Per capita income: $4,950
- Life expectancy: F 64 / M 59 years
- Infant mortality rate: 30/1,000 live births
Sources: World Bank 2021, Kenya
Population Reference Bureau 2021, Kenya
Photos: Kenya | CDC Global Flickr
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