Using TRIPS Flexibilities to promote access to medicines for PLHIV in Kenya and Uganda

Using TRIPS Flexibilities to promote access to medicines for PLHIV in Kenya and Uganda

Project

Both Kenya and Uganda are countries with high HIV prevalence rates, estimated at 5.7% and 7.1% respectively. This translates to a high number of PHLIV within these regions in need of access to antiretroviral drugs. Access to better antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in both Kenya and Uganda has been a challenge mostly due to restrictive intellectual property regime and non-exploitation of TRIPS flexibilities.
This project will seek to build consensus and empower civil society organizations to advocate for the removal of intellectual property barriers to access to essential and better antiretroviral drugs for PLHIV in Kenya and Uganda. Relatedly, the project will empower CSOs to advocate for implementation of the EAC Regional Intellectual Property Policy on the Utilization of Public Health-Related WTO-TRIPS Flexibilities and the Approximation of National Intellectual Property Legislation. This Policy guides EAC Partner States on how their national intellectual property legislation must be adjusted in order to enable them to fully utilize the Public Health-related WTO-TRIPS Flexibilities.
The project will be implemented through a combination of the technical expertise of the two organizations, CEHURD and KELIN, and mobilization and empowerment of civil society organizations and communities of people living with HIV.

Project details

Time frame
01 January 2018 - 31 December 2020
Budget
€ 210,000
Active in
Kenya, Uganda

Objectives

The proposed project will empower communities of PLHIV to be at the forefront in demanding for the exploitation of TRIPS flexibilities to ensure there is access to essential, better and improved medicines. The project will also provide a platform for evidenced-based research on current practices and policies impacting exploitation of TRIPS flexibilities in Kenya and Uganda. Relatedly, the project will use the court system through public interest litigation for removal of the identified intellectual property barriers. Communities of PLHIV will be strengthened to advocate for access to medicines both at the national level and regional level (especially through use of the opportunity presented by the EAC Regional Intellectual Property Policy).

Therefore, the health of PLHIV will greatly be improved as a result of these initiatives that will empower and strengthen communities, and contribute towards improving the access to medicines systems.

Community groups

In addressing intellectual property barriers to access to medicines, and advocating for exploitation of TRIPS flexibilities in Kenya and Uganda, this project will contribute towards ensuring that people who have been diagnosed with HIV have access to quality treatment and care. Access to HIV treatment and care prevents illnesses and death among people living with HIV thereby contributing to the second 90 of the UNAIDS target of 90% of people with diagnosed HIV infection receive sustained ART treatment by 2020. It is anticipated that 110 people will be engaged directly in trainings and dialogues, with 5,000 people reached directly through assorted IEC materials. Further, in addressing legal, policy and practice barriers on access to medicines, our project has the potential to ensure that 1.6 million people living with HIV in Kenya and 1.4 million people living with HIV in Uganda are positively impacted.

Partners

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