10,000 People Living With HIV In Turkana Not Under Medication
A total of 10,000 people living with HIV in Turkana County are not receiving treatment despite their status.
Lodwar county referral hospital Director Dr. Bonventure Ameyo urged stakeholders to utilize the community health strategy to bring on board those infected.
Ameyo said the strategy would help deliver health services closer to the people. He was speaking during a meeting of county government health officers and USAID Imarisha Jamii programme officials.
HIV prevalence in Turkana County is at 6.8 percent according to the Kenya population-based HIV Impact Assessment (KENPHIA) 2018 survey.
According to the county executive committee member for health Jane Ajele, 42pc of the newly infected with HIV are youth aged 15-24 years which she describes as unacceptable.
Ameyo said the county health team’s role as the technical advisor for the various USAID Imarisha Jamii (an Amref Project) programs ensures the overall project success.
The project components include nutrition, HIV prevention and treatment, social health services for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), reproductive and mother and child health and health systems strengthening.
Speaking at the meeting, Ameyo commended the teams for the achievements realized and highlighted the key areas of improvement such as increased HIV testing, measures to control new infections, retain people in the program to avert HIV-related mortalities, stigma and modalities to ensure sustainability as per the Turkana County AIDS Implementation Plan.
He noted that as partners’ projects end, the county government will seek alternative funding modes as part of the journey towards self-reliance.
The Deputy Chief of Party of Imarisha Jamii Dr. Evans Osembo emphasized documentation and enhanced supervision, particularly in performance management as a means of improving the project’s indicators.
The meeting’s discussion sessions identified up-scaling of outreaches to remote areas and migratory populations, targeted HIV Testing Service towards men, usage of data for decision making, refresher training to improve indicators as some of the priority areas.
Other areas identified were enhancing logistical support to reach patients and integrate Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) sensitization with other outreaches.