PATH’s country program in Kenya celebrated 20 years of improving health services, strengthening community networks, and empowering Kenyans to adopt healthier lifestyles with events in Kenya this week.
The anniversary was celebrated with colleagues and partners from the government of Kenya, the US Embassy, local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), donors, and community members. Events were held in Western Province, where much of PATH’s work is focused, as well as in Nairobi, where PATH’s main country office is located.
In Kakamega, Western Province, more than 150 partners and community groups gathered to mark PATH’s unique contributions over two decades. Dr. Godrick Onyango, Western provincial director of medical services, delivered the keynote speech on behalf of the Kenyan minister for medical services, Dr. Anyang Nyongo. Other dignitaries included Rikka Trangsrud, PATH’s Kenya Country Program director; Dr. Ayo Ajayi, PATH’s vice president of Field Programs; and Dr. Ambrose Misore, PATH project manager, APHIAplus Zone 1.
The Nairobi event drew about 200 guests who enjoyed an exhibition about PATH’s work and the work of our partners. They heard remarks from PATH president and CEO Dr. Christopher J. Elias, Trangsrud, the US Embassy deputy chief of mission Lee Brudvig, and Ministry of Public Health representatives.
The events provided an opportunity to celebrate PATH’s long-standing partnerships with government, the private sector, and community and civil society groups that have been essential to our accomplishments in Kenya. Collaborators in Kakamega and Nairobi were presented with awards from PATH in gratitude for their years of partnership in bringing health within reach for all Kenyans.
PATH’s work in Kenya began with a staff of six and a small portfolio of projects. PATH became the first NGO to be registered as such under the NGO Act in Kenya in 1992. Today, Kenya is home to PATH’s largest country program, with four field offices in addition to our main office in Nairobi and a staff of 150.
Our work has expanded to meet a range of health needs. We bring new approaches, proven strategies, and technical expertise to address HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care, as well as tuberculosis, health systems strengthening, adolescent reproductive health and life skills, and other needs.
In Kenya, PATH is known for our work in implementing groundbreaking approaches in communications, training, and community mobilization, putting PATH at the forefront in helping the country promote social and behavior change for improved health.
PATH has led major initiatives funded by the US Agency for International Development to improve health outcomes in Kenya’s Western and Nyanza provinces, reaching millions of Kenyans with cross-cutting interventions. We have also led research, advocacy, and policy development on gender-based violence. And we are working to increase access to safe water and to improve nutrition and maternal health.
We have built core strengths in adolescent and reproductive health, leading a project to implement large-scale HIV prevention activities with youth through the Kenya Scouts Association. Our innovative work also includes integrated programming to tackle the dual epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis and an integrated approach to improving maternal and child health through linking agriculture and nutritional health.
Diarrheal disease is a leading cause of death in children under age five in Kenya. PATH helped develop and revise national diarrheal disease control plans, train health workers, and revitalize the use of oral rehydration therapy corners, where mothers with dangerously dehydrated children can immediately access lifesaving treatment.
Through collaboration with both public- and private-sector partners, PATH continues to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions across the spectrum of Kenya’s health needs.