Currently Nairobi Eastland’s area has a population of at least 2,157,960 people and it is estimated the adult HIV prevalence stands at 5.2% compared to the national prevalence of 5.6%. In 1993 when Eastern Deanery AIDS Relief Program (EDARP) was founded by Father Edward Phillips MM at the request of Roman Catholic priests from the Eastern Deanery Nairobi, the prevalence rate was much higher. Many men, women and children living in this area died from AIDS as there was no lifesaving intervention at the time. Many people who were infected were being discharged from hospital and sent home to die.
The success EDARP has had are attributed by the community linkages it has fostered through community health workers. This has been made possible by support received from Catholic Church parishes of eastern deanery which provide community health workers. Its success in providing these essential services has been as a result of donor funds offered during early days by Misereor, a German Roman Catholic Development Agency and Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers. In 2001, EDARP partnered with the Centre for Disease Control Kenya (CDC) courtesy of Dr. Kevin De Cock, Country Director CDC Kenya/Director DGHA who assembled a team of specialists comprising of Dr. Elizabeth Marum, the late Dr. Joseph Odhiambo, Dr. Lucy Wanjiku Nganga, the late Dr. Nicholas Wambua, and former Activity Manager for EDARP to provide technical support for EDARP. Through this partnership EDARP was able to get funding through the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to date. It is through PEPFAR, that EDARP was able to provide lifesaving medicines Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment (HAART) to HIV infected individuals.