First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has lauded stakeholders for Kenya’s strides against HIV and AIDS. Speaking during the 31st Commemoration of World AIDS Day at Gusii Stadium in Kisii County, The First Lady however warned of complacency urging for enhanced partnerships to jointly address barriers frustrating efforts towards ending AIDS by 2030.
‘Despite the progress made in tackling HIV and AIDS, many people continue to face challenges in accessing healthcare services, which are key to eliminating the disease,’ said the First Lady.
Reiterating her commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS the First Lady acknowledged the contribution by Communities to the Response that has seen the country make major strides. Among those recognized were the faith communities that have played a major role in advancing the HIV message in different congregations. She however decried high cases of new infections among young women and urged for concerted efforts and investments to address mother to child transmissions and help Kenya attain global targets.
‘Despite the progress made in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, the country is faced with new challenges of new HIV infections among adolescents and young women,’ She further said.
Cabinet Secretary for Health Sicily Kariuki while speaking at the same event said Kenya has, over the last 9 years reduced her new infection by 51% overally, the greatest achievement in the three decade struggle against the epidemic. ‘Kenya has registered more than 51% reduction in new infections from 100,000 per annum in 2013 to less than 50,000 with a HIV incidence currently at 1.8 %,’ said the Cabinet Secretary.
At the same event, the First Lady launched the Faith Sector Booklet; an activity that was marked across all counties in the presence of Religious Leaders. Developed by the Faith Sector Working Group with input from other religious leaders, the booklet is centred around nine thematic areas namely HIV knowledge, HIV prevention, HIV treatment, Care and support, stigma and discrimination, Universal Health Coverage, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Male engagement, Adolescents and Young People(AYP) engagement.
The booklet contains factual information and messages on HIV and AIDS and general health for congregants. Besides demystifying myths and misconceptions on HIV and AIDS, the messages shall also empower congregations on the epidemic. It targets faithfuls drawn from Christian, Islam, Hindu and Bahai communities.