Medics have called on students, teachers and the school fraternity to support any child on medication, to allow them to adhere to their prescription.
Psychologists Loice Kimani, has cautioned that failure to support the ailing learners, especially those on Anti Retrovirus Drugs, has led to their default, further weakening the child’s immunity.
Ms. Kimani regretted that the modes of teaching used to educate the children on sexuality, were also wanting as they encouraged stigmatization of children living with HIV virus.
“Not every child on continuous medication is suffering from HIV, a number are managing heart rheumatic disease, sickle cell, leukemia, diabetes and among other ailments. Stigmatizing them will only serve to compromise on their health and even lead to death,” regretted Kimani.
Kimani, who manages a support group of about 200 learners living with HIV at Langalanga Maternity Hospital, regretted that a number of the children had their viral load go up as a result of defaulting on their medication.
“We usually educate these children on sticking to their prescriptions and time for taking medicine, which when interfered with compromises on their immunity.
“As much as we would want these children to be supported, we usually advise against disclosing their statuses to people beyond their caregivers, for their own safety and wellbeing,” added the medic.
Her sentiments were echoed by Psychologist Dorothy Kasewa, who regretted cases of gender and sexual based violence that exposed these children too further trauma.
“We continue handling cases of children who have been ill treated by people well known to them.
“Cases of lesbianism and homosexuality in schools continued to standout as major causes of child trauma that needs concerted effort to fight and address,” added Ms. Kasewa, who handles gender and sexual based violence victims at the Nakuru based facility.
The medics urged parents to seek psychological help for their children, whenever they noticed change of behaviour including withdrawal and mood swings, saying they were susceptible to depression.
By Anne Sabuni