NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1 – First lady Margret Kenyatta today lead the nation in marking the 31st World Aids Day in a colourful function at Gusii stadium in Kisii County.
Speaking during the event the First Lady said the community and families need to sacrifice in the fight against the global menace noting that everybody needs to contribute towards the country’s challenge of achieving a HIV/AIDS free nation by 2030.
“HIV remains a pressing issue to areas where there is no access to quality health care services and antenatal care and where there is no counseling for pregnant mothers who have no knowledge on HIV therefore putting their babies at risk,” she said.
She said efforts to eliminate HIV are central to the government’s health promise for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and strengthening health systems and increasing access is essential to the government’s program.
Cabinet Secretary for Health, Cecily Kariuki said that they recognize how the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Kenyan counties has been managed with great milestones recorded by the government.
She noted that according to the statistics there is a marked decrease from 13% in the early 90s to the current of 4.9% in national rates.
Kisii governor James Ongwae said the county has given 50% towards health sector in the county adding that the county is working hard to ensure there is quality health service delivery to Kisii residents.
He noted with the Sh2.5 billion funds they are soon launching the construction a cancer center facility to help residents cut on travel expenses to Kenyatta National Hospital or the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
“In Kisii county we have dropped HIV/AIDS prevalence rate from 9% to 4.4 %, increased the number of patients on medication from 10,000 to 31,500 while reducing the annual infection number from 4900 to 1000 new cases.
Women’s Representative for Murang’a, Sabina Chege noted that parents should take care of young girls as early pregnancies are on the rise in the country.
Dr Nduku Kilonzo,the Chief Executive Officer, National Aids Control Council (NACC) said that Kenya had taken bold steps towards tackling the HIV/AIDS.
Kilonzo thanked the First Lady for gracing the occasion commending her as a globally recognized as a champion on mother and child HIV infection control.