Increasing Priority, Attention and Budget otherwise referred to as IPAB is project piloted by Stowelink with the support from Non- Communicable Alliance of Kenya (NCDAK) from the period starting February 2020 to November 2020. The project has been piloted in 6 priority counties including Makueni, Isiolo, Nyeri, Kisii, Taita Taveta and Vihiga County. With other implementing partners in the other 5 priority, Stowelink focused on increasing priority, and budget allocation for non-communicable diseases in Vihiga County. In order to achieve the goals/objectives of the project, Stowelink focused on strengthening partnerships between the different PLWNCDs-led organization and present a united voice for the Persons Living with Non-Communicable Diseases. In addition, Stowelink expected to network and strengthen the links between PLWNCDs and health systems in Vihiga County while offering liaison between the PLWNCDs and the NCDAK national office. Stowelink also anticipated to engage the County First Ladies Association and the youth with the goal of further enhancing the NCD advocacy for a meaningful engagement of PLWNCDs.
- Success of a project largely depends on the collaboration between project implementors and stakeholders. Players cannot work or operate in isolation.
- The young people possess greater altruism and energy to drive NCDs Advocacy agenda.
- Increasing priority, attention and budget allocation for NCDs is not just the responsibility of the health department. It overlaps to other department such as education for awareness creation, finance for mobilization of resources and office of the governor to amass the political will among others.
- Lack of clear guidelines on how the county engages interested partners. While Stowelink was able to gain support of the county health team, it took a while before the interest to implement IPAB project be ratified.
- Unforeseen events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This disrupted IPAB project implementation matrix. With the cessation of movement by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19, IPAB project was temporarily halted with meeting conducted virtually.
- Inadequate financial resources to support all the activities under the IPAB project. As such, activities were prioritized.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNTY
- Develop clear guidelines on how donors/partners are engaged. This will help attract interested partners and also save the time wasted from hoping office to office for approval/endorsement. Developing clear guidelines will also help the county government have a clear snapshot of the number of projects and nature of projects being implemented in the county.
- The county should increase budget allocation for unforeseen health events. This will help in supporting ongoing projects which may be affected by these unforeseen health events.
- Increase the overall budget allocation for NCDs to support advocacy activities and the much-needed medication and social support by the PLWNCDs.
- Health should form the top most priority for the county government especially at this time when COVID-19 is ravaging. While at it, NCDs should be prioritized since COVID-19 has highlighted how these NCD patients are mostly vulnerable.
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Let’s save lives
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