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Siaya on the way to reverse HIV/AIDS infection rate, says County minister

Siaya County has in the last five years recorded an eight percent reduction of HIV / AIDS prevalence, County Executive Committee Member (CCEM) for health, Dismas Odhiambo Wakla has said.
Wakla said that the prevalence rate had dropped from 24% in 2015 to the current 16.2% adding that though the achievement was commendable, a lot more still need to be done to bring down the infection rates.
He was speaking at the Green park garden in Ukwala town in Ugenya Sub County yesterday during the World Aids Day celebrations.
The CECM said that the gains recorded so far risk being wiped out if measures will not be taken to reverse the high infection rates among adolescents and the youth in Siaya.
Wakla said it was unacceptable that more than half of the new infections occur among young people of between 15 and 24 years of age in the county.

Ana kwa Ana theatre group members perform a skit during the World Aids Day celebrations at Ukwala, Ugenya sub county.

“Unless we control infections among this group, our aspiration of becoming a vibrant middle income county in the next few years shall be in jeopardy,” said Wakla who was flanked by the CECM for ICT, Sports and culture, Charles Ogada among others.
On Corona, the CECM health called for more vigilance and adherence to the ministry of health protocols to avoid the spread.
He said that Siaya had registered more than 50% increase in Covid 19 positive cases in the past two months.
“As of this morning, we had 433 positive cases. It is no longer an urban disease. It is in the villages and we must all be vigilant and observe the protocols,” he said.
Siaya county minister for ICT, Sports and culture, Charles Ogada called for a halt to sports activities during December as a way of checking the spread of Covid 19.
According to the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey, Siaya County has 109,140 people living with HIV / AIDS, with 3,824 people getting infected every year.
The survey further says that 1,116 people died of HIV/AIDS related complications in 2019 while the Mother to child transmission of the scourge stands at 9.1%, way above the national target of 5%.

By Philip Onyango


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