Speaking after receiving a preliminary report from a technical working group on the adoption of the procedure, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the field tests will be tested in selected counties before the national rollout.
“I congratulate and thank the members of the Task Force for showing professionalism and adhering to the WHO recommendations while undertaking the task,” said the Health CS.
According to Kagwe, this is the first time that a review of a testing algorithm has been carried out in the country in strict fidelity to the scientific process defined in a protocol recommended by the WHO and approved by an Ethical Review Committee and the National Science and Technology Commission.
Speaking during the ceremony, Acting Surgeon General Dr. Patrick Amoth said the task force’s recommendations will be implemented as per the protocol and then adopted as the country’s testing algorithm.
Task force chairman Dr. Andrew Mulwa, who is also the directorate’s acting preventive and promotional health director, said there was sufficient evidence to indicate that the two-test algorithm was not optimal for HIV testing in the country.
He said the WHO has recommended a switch to a 3-test algorithm for countries with an HIV prevalence of less than 5%, while Kenya stands at 4.3%.
-Test algorithm according to WHO recommendation.
He was also required to contextualize the process of adaptation, implementation and feasibility of the algorithm of the three tests before submitting his report to the General Directorate of Health.
The adoption of the three-test HIV testing algorithm comes just a week after the Ministry of Health released the revised National Guidelines for HIV Treatment and Prevention.
The eleven-member working group that was constituted in March 2022 was made up of government officials, technical partners and research scientists.