The government will start piloting a new first-line drug for 27, 000 people living with HIV who are unable to tolerate the side effects of Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drug.
The government made the announcement today after receiving 148, 000 packs of the drug from Unitaid valued at Sh60 million.
Director of Medical Services, Dr Jackson Kioko said the new drug will be introduced in select public health facilities across the country , with the aim of making it widely available in all parts of the country later this year.
“Numerous Phase 3 clinical trials have shown DTG to be superior than all other first line treatments and in 2016 Kenya included the drug into its Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) treatment guidelines,” he added in a statement delivered by Dr. Stanley Kimuhu from the ministry head office as Kenya celebrates averting 600, 000 deaths through ARTs over the last 14 years.
He said the pilot is part of an innovative project meant to build healthcare worker experience and generate the evidence needed to introduce DTG on a larger scale expected in the next 18 months.
Kenya becomes the second African country in Sub-Saharan Africa, after Botswana to introduce the generic version of the new drug Dolutegravir (DTG) for routine use.