Cut in US PEPFAR funding leaves Kenya with urgent blood shortage
Over the last 15 years, the United States' President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has provided Kenya with US$73 million to build its blood safety and transfusion program, including blood banks, equipment, and training. The purpose of the funding was to provide confidence in the blood collection program so that Kenyans would be more likely to get tested for HIV/AIDS.
In September of 2019, however, PEPFAR's assistance to blood banks ended and Kenyan blood collections have not kept up with demand, leaving blood banks dry. The US ambassador to Kenya said that funding had been gradually reduced in full consultation with the Kenyan government, but the director of the service, part of Kenya’s Health Ministry, said the support ended abruptly and prematurely, leaving Kenyan officials unprepared.
Kenya's 2020 budget contained no funding for the blood program, leaving citizens to fend for themselves to meet their own transfusion needs.