60 Patients With Aids Die Every Hour

A data released recently by the Kenya National Aids Control Council has shocked residents in Kilifi after the region recorded an increase in the number of Mother to Child HIV/AIDs transmission.

The Data revealed that Kilifi’s transmission rate is higher at 11 per cent compared to the national average of 8.3 percent.

The report revealed that out of every 100 HIV-negative women going to deliver, 11 of them transmit the virus to the young one in Kilifi.

This was said by Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, who spoke during a community sensitization forum in Malindi.

She said the increasing rates of teenage pregnancies, Gender-Based Violence and HIV infections amongst adolescents as captured in the triple threat campaign remain a concern in Kilifi.

The PS said a way has to be found to address that problem and bring it to a halt.

During the sensitization campaign forum held at Bunthuani beachfront grounds in Malindi, it emerged that there has been an increase in rates of teenage pregnancies, Gender-Based Violence, and HIV infections amongst adolescents in Kilifi.

The PS called on the stakeholders to help contain the threats as the challenges in Kilifi County were alarming.

“Sexual and gender-based violence has persisted for years. Seven in 10 cases of gender-based violence happen among adolescents aged 10-17 years. The County also recorded an increase of 56% from 396 cases in 2016 to 900 in 2021,” she said.

She called for community dialogue and increase consultation efforts so as to save future generations.

Mochache also called on Community Health Volunteers and administrators to take lead in making sure that those affected access to health services and justice so as to address gender-based violence.

The PS said the Triple Threat risked compromising the gains already achieved in the fight against HIV and there was a risk of increasing the burden of responsibility for the government which is currently spending Sh 25 billion on managing the virus.

She emphasized the need for sensitizing the youth about the dangers of contracting the HIV virus.

“Another major challenge that threatens the gains made in HIV prevention in Kilifi is the high number of injecting drug users,” said the PS.

She said her visit to the Omar project in Malindi which helps in the rehabilitation of drug users established that many have been infected by HIV/AIDS.

Injecting drug users have four times the prevalence compared to the general population.

The ‘Triple Threat Campaign’ is a multisectoral, whole government approach to ending new HIV infections, unintended pregnancies, and sexual and gender-based violence among adolescent girls and young women by addressing the drivers of risk and vulnerability in the population.

National Aids Control Council CEO Dr. Ruth Laibon Masha said it was time for everybody to take responsibility in fighting the vices that are affecting innocent children.

“We have taken the campaign from boardrooms to Mashinani so that our girls are safe and in school,” she said

She said Kilifi suffers from the three threats listed adding that it’s high time that stakeholders take a key role to champion the good course that will assist in addressing the challenges of Teenage pregnancy HIV infections and GBV.