By David Musili
Kitui: Governor Charity Ngilu today rolled out integrated health outreaches in the entire County as part of creating awareness, showing solidarity and service provision her people as the County marks World AIDS Day.
Services to be provided during the five day programme include Cervical cancer screening, Prostate cancer screening, HIV counseling and testing services, Antenatal care, Post-natal care, Laboratory services, Family planning, Pharmacy services, Nutrition services (Growth monitoring and counseling, and Vitamin A supplementation), Maternity, Services for children and adults living with disabilities, Psychiatry services and Health massages.
The five day activity pursues to create HIV awareness to the people in all the sub counties especially the hard to reach areas, offer integrated health care services to the populations in the same areas as well as identify those living with HIV and link them to care and treatment, and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. The outreach will also increase People Living with HIV acceptance in the families and communities and reduce HIV stigma.
Kitui County Ministry of Health & Sanitation plans to commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day on Saturday December 2, 2017 in Kitui central at Katulani Market, where free HIV testing and counselling services will be available at no cost.
This year’s Theme is ‘Focusing on HIV prevention among youth and adolescents’, as study indicates the disease as the chief cause of death and disability among adolescents and youth aged 10-24 years.
According to statistics from Kenya Demographic Health Survey-KDHS, out of the estimated close to 28 thousand people living with HIV in Kitui County only about 15,000 know their status and are on treatment, the rest are unaware of their status and not only risk their lives but also those of their loved ones.
The County is among the high burden counties contributing 1.9% of all new infections in Kenya, with HIV prevalence of 4.4% .The annual infection for 2015 almost doubled to stand at 1,660 compared to 988 for the year 2013.
At least 20% (818people) of the latest infected are the youth and adolescents aged between 15-24 years, while children less than 15 years contribute 6% of new infections in the county translating to 19.4% mother to child transmission rate.