The Kenya NGOs Alliance Against Malaria (KeNAAM) is a network of Kenyan civil society organisations (CSOs) working to eradicate malaria in Kenya. KeNAAM was formed in 2001, established a secretariat in 2003, and was legally registered in 2006. The network was created based on the need for a central entity that could map out and coordinate civil society resources, skills, and programmes, as well as translate government policies into actionable interventions for local community-based organisations (CBOs), enabling civil society to participate more in the national fight against malaria by mobilising for additional resources for malaria programming. The original steering committee was made up of Kenya-based CSOs involved in malaria programming at the country level. The seed funding for the secretariat was supported by the CORE Group through a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant.
The idea for a malaria secretariat was first discussed in 2001 at a Fresh Air Malaria Conference in East Africa, which was organised by CORE Group and the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) with funding from USAID. The conference was part of an effort by CORE Group to strengthen linkages, collaboration, and networking among non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government, the private sector, and multilateral partners in malaria and child health for more effective efforts. One of the action steps resulting from this regional workshop was the organisation of national malaria workshops in five countries to mobilise NGO and partner participation to reduce the incidence and impact of malaria. In Kenya, as well as Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, NGOs came together following the national workshop in order to develop a mechanism to enhance collaboration amongst themselves and between the NGOs and the public sector.
Within the broader context of public health in Kenya, KeNAAM works to facilitate collaboration and partnerships amongst stakeholders for effective delivery of malaria control and related interventions. KeNAAM's objectives include conducting advocacy and mobilising resources for malaria prevention and control activities, providing opportunities to integrate malaria into other health and related interventions, enhancing coordination amongst different malaria stakeholders, and facilitating dialogue and better understanding of community, national, and global health policies and tools.
In 2003-2005, KeNAAM developed its organisational structure and launched a suite of basic activities that became more complex over time. These included building a membership base, organising civil society representation in national and regional policy forums, and coordinating with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund).
Between 2006-2009, one of the organisation's first major projects was VOICES for a Malaria-Free Future. This project aimed to increase community access to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs); increase the Ministry of Health's malaria budget; increase community access to the Global Fund; and promote better quality data on malaria morbidity and mortality.
Specific activities of KeNAAM included advocating for the removal of barriers that affect the delivery of essential malaria interventions, and building the capacity of malaria advocates to implement targeted communications and mobilisation efforts. KeNAAM hosted workshops for members and the media, and recruited "champions" in schools, through sporting events and Boy Scout troops. The organisation also recruited local legislators, village chiefs, imams, and religious leaders to disseminate key malaria advocacy messages and introduced the subject of malaria into school curricula.
In terms of advocacy, KeNAAM successfully advocated to deregulate ACTs. The effort included the production of a DVD called "Voices Kenya: Success in the Fight Against Malaria”. The network also engaged the government to avert the country's ACT drug stock-out, and influenced the Malaria Interagency Coordinating Committee decision to switch from insecticide-treated nets to long-lasting insecticide treated nets in the mass and routine distribution campaigns.
According to KeNAAM, their coordinating role has enabled NGOs, faith-based organisations (FBOs), CBOs and the private sector to effectively contribute to the acceleration of malaria control while strengthening an infrastructure that addresses other linked health priorities.
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Since its founding, KeNAAM has grown from 18 to 72 organisational members. The network has secured civil society representation in each technical working group within the Kenya Ministry of Health Divisions of Malaria Control, Reproductive Health, and Child Health. Furthermore, according to KeNAAM, the network is seen as a valuable advisor to civil society groups outside Kenya, and steering committee members have been successful bringing their influence to meetings where they have represented Kenyan civil society in national and international forums.
Through its success as a network, KeNAAM led to the development of a similar model for Health NGOs Network (HENNET), a Kenya network bringing together all health development organisations in the country.
KeNAAM has been involved in the regional networking and collaboration through the East Africa Roll Back Malaria network (EARN), Africa Advocacy Task Team (AATT), and at the global level is involved in Malaria Advocacy Working Groups (MAWG) for the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership. The network also has linkages with the Global Fund through membership on the country coordination committee (CCM) and as a member of the community delegation on the Global Fund board. In Kenya, KeNAAM represents CSOs in Global Fund mechanisms (through membership in the National Malaria Programme Interagency Coordination Committee and technical working groups). KeNAAM has also engaged civil society actors to participate in the implementation of the National Malaria Strategy.
Members as at inception, 2003: Sustainable Healthcare Enterprise Foundation, AID Africa Concern, African Medical and Research Foundation, Academy for Educational Development/Netmark, World Vision Kenya, Plan International, Christian Children's Fund Kenya, Vestergaard Frandsen, MERLIN, AfriAfya, Population Services International, Catholic Relief Services, Kenya Red Cross Society, International Medical Corps, National AIPCA Health and Welfare Organisation, International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology, and JHPIEGO.