The Afya Elimu Fund [AEF] was established in 2013 and officially launched in 2016, under a Public- Private Partnership [PPP] initiative comprising USAID/HRH Kenya Mechanism and the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Health & HELB. The innovative AEF started simply as a scholarship and transitioned into a revolving fund by providing low interest loans at 4% to needy students pursuing pre-service medical training at mid-level colleges at certificate and diploma levels only. The Fund focuses on middle level cadres such as nursing, laboratory technologists, clinical officers among others who form the bulk of the country’s health workforce. At the close of the 5-year funding cycle in 2020, on 19th May 2021, the USAID/HRH Kenya Mechanism officially fully handed over the management of AEF to HELB.
In 2013, the contribution from USAID, and GOK being on 1:1 ratio and with a target of training 12,500 students in five years. The funds from GOK through HELB grew tremendously and tilted in favor of GOK at 1:4 ratio. The beneficiaries also increased threefold for the initial target of 12,500 to 48,188 students studying at Kenya Medical Training College [KMTC] having benefited.
AEF, being the pioneer partner fund at HELB, has been a great learning experience and has over time expanded and on-boarded other partners with the vision to sustainably support needy students training at mid-level colleges and help close the acute health workers shortage gap in Kenya. Between 2013 and 2021, the fund has mobilized Kshs. 535.7 Million excluding the HELB contribution.