The presiding Bishop and President of Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa (PEFA) Dr. John Okinda now wants the Ministry Of Health to hasten distribution of ARVs in the country in order to save lives of patients.
Okinda said that although the Covid-19 pandemic has greatly affected the country’s health ministry’s efforts in providing health services to Kenyans suffering from other ailments, focus should not be lost on HIV/Aids patients.
The cleric, who also chairs the Interfaith Council of Churches in Migori pointed out that HIV patients were at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 and so must be provided with their daily doses of drugs to enable them resist opportunistic diseases.
He explained that ARVs help HIV/Aids patients to strengthen their immune systems and prolong their lives, thus shortage of medication put patients’ lives at a higher risk.
‘‘Some of these HIV patients are my church members, sons and daughters of our neighbours and friends, our parents and relatives,’’ said the prelate when he addressed the Press in Migori town on Wednesday.
He said that there should not be a break down in the process of importing and distributing the ARVs even with the prevailing Coronavirus wave in the country.
The Bishop called upon non-governmental organizations fighting HIV/AIDs in the country to help HIV/AIDS patients get ARVs. “Consequently, the government must now rope in all NGOs and other partners to help with the importation and distribution of ARVs at the Sub-County level,” he advised.
The Bishop urged parents to educate their children about HIV/AIDs and protection methods to keep them safe from contracting the disease, adding that parents should act as role models to their children.
According to the Kenyan’s National HIV/AIDs Survey and Kenya Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (KENPHIA) of 2020, Migori County is one of the top five counties with HIV prevalence of more than 9 per cent.
On Covid-19 vaccination, the Bishop pointed out that he had received the jab and encouraged Kenyans to go for it to boost their immunity.
He specifically urged the HIV/AIDs patients to be vaccinated because they are at a higher risk stressing that shortage of ARVs meant that HIV/AIDs patients were more vulnerable to the virus.
The bishop wished all the Kenyan Muslims all the best as they mark the holy month of Ramadhan.
By George Agimba