Top Stories / Counties
Wednesday, 07 Dec 2016 17:55 EATbmulu@kenyafreepress.com
Over 21,000 people in Kitui County have HIV/AIDS, among them 2,792 young children, according to the Kenya’s Health Ministry. Making the announcement, Kitui First Lady Ms Edith Malombe said that some 1,500 infections are reported in the area annually. “There is some 34 percent of the new infections in Kitui County and those are the youths of 15-24 years,” she added.
Mrs Malombe added that 50 percent of the county’s population does not go to hospital for HIV/AIDS testing. “We know that there are many people who do not know their HIV/AIDS status due to fear,” said Mrs Malombe, who is also the chief executive officer if Kyeni Foundation, an NGO. She was speaking to hundreds of people during the 28th World Aids Day marked at the Yumbisye Secondary School in Katulani District of Kitui County where she was the chief guest.
The theme for this year’s event was the prevention of new HIV infection among the adolescent and youth. The event had been organised by the Kitui Catholic Diocese in partnership with the Kitui County government, ICAP, Kyeni Foundation, Centre for Health Solutions Kenya, Kitui Development Centre and Aphia Plus. Mrs Malombe said that it is good for you to know their staus.
The Kitui County Health and Sanitation Minister, Ruth Koki Mwanzia, urged the local people to go for the HIV/AIDS testing. “Go for the testing to know your status. We have qualified medics in our county to do the testing,” the minister said. The minister asked the locals not to stigmatise the HIV/AIDS victims because we are all the human beings. “Stigmatisation is not good. We should live together and loving one another,” she said. “It is good to help the HIV/AIDS victims where they need our help including the counselling,” she added.
The minister asked local youths to take measures to prevent themselves from contracting the scourge. “The measures include avoiding reckless sex and abstinence,” she told the youths, and urged parents to talk to their children about the scourge “because it is your responsibility to do so.”
The minister announced that the county government had purchased a dialysis machine that they will be using to treat kidney patients at the Kitui County Referral Hospital. “The kidney patients in the county will now be treated within the county. They will no longer be being referred to the Machakos General Hospital for that specialised medical treatment,” she said.
The function was also addressed by the Chief Officers Susan Mwende Katusya (County Affairs Coordination Ministry) and Fredrick Muli (County Health and Sanitation Ministry) and area (Kitui Central) Sub-County Administrator Joshua Nyamai Mutembei among others. During the function, some 25 people were voluntarily screened for the HIV/AIDS, 3 for cancers and 20 for hypertension complications. The end of the story.
Boniface is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Kitui County