Students from three major institutions of higher learning in Murang’a County were Wednesday sensitized on proper use of condoms as a way of preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
The event, which was held at Murang’a University of Technology (MUT), brought together students from Michuki Technical Training Institute, MUT and Kenya Medical Training Institute.
During the event dubbed ‘Safer is Fun’, Murang’a County HIV Coordinator, David Kinyanjui said that there has been a rise in sexually transmitted infections mainly affecting young people between 15 and 24 years of age. Institutions of higher learning are, therefore, a catchment area for the target group.
He said that the county’s prevalent rate stands at 4.2 percent, adding that the event created a forum for the student population to be taught on the proper use of condoms as a way of reducing the rate of HIV/AIDS and STI infections in the county.
The Murang’a University’s Deputy Student Leader, Martha Paul said that the event would sensitize students on proper use of condoms as well as enlightening them on sexually transmitted diseases. “Knowledge is power and we are very positive that this drive will be effective,” she said.
Martha added that the university had partnered with Murang’a County Government and Murang’a Referral Hospital in promotion of health awareness among the student population.
The event was organized in collaboration with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which is an international organization that offers healthcare and counseling to persons infected with HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Maureen Mutinda who is a member of AHF said that male and female condoms were issued to those who attended the event. A procession that passed through Murang’a town also saw to members of the public being given free condoms.
She said that the International Condoms Day is celebrated each year on February 13, a day before Valentine’s, as an innovative way of reminding people that wearing a condom could prevent pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
Many students interviewed by KNA confessed being sexually active and that such a forum was welcome as it enlightened them on measures they could take to protect themselves.
Popular local gospel musicians graced the event and students were also given a platform to showcase their different talents such as spoken word, music and poetry. Best performers were awarded.
By Eva Nyambura/Judith Thuo