Stakeholders in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) are asking the Kakamega County Government to operationalise the Shinyalu safe rescue centre to take care of GBV victims.
The centre, which was initiated by the Kakamega County Woman representative Elsie Muhanda way back in 2019 is yet to be completed or furnished.
They also want more centres established in the expansive county with one of the highest population density in the country to tame increasing cases.
Speaking during a meeting of Technical Working Group (TWG) on the three triple threats of new HIV infection, teenage pregnancy and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (GBV), members urged the Kakamega Woman representative, the County government and partners to join hands and address the issue urgently.
Kakamega County has been identified as one of the top ten counties in the country with high rates of GBV, teenage pregnancy and new HIV infection.
The Kakamega County Health Reproductive Coordinator Amelda Barasa revealed that Malava and Lurambi sub-counties have recorded the highest rate of teenage pregnancy, with an upsurge also being recorded in Likuyani and Lugari sub counties.
“Many of the teen girls aged between 10-14 years getting pregnant have to undergo caesarian operations, risking their lives,” she said.
She said Lurambi sub-county, situated within the Kakamega town is recording high cases of new HIV infection and called on partners to form a multi-sectoral approach to address the threat.
Barasa said the department of health has formed Adolescent Reproductive Health Rescue Champions (ARHRC) to educate and create awareness about the three triple threats.
“We have also trained Community Health Volunteers (CHV), community leaders and formed young mothers clubs to create awareness,” she added.
The Kakamega County Population coordinator Maurice Odour said the three triple threats of new HIV infection, sexual and gender-based violence and teenage pregnancy are the biggest challenge to the welfare and development of young people in the country.
“In Kakamega, stakeholders have implemented a number of interventions to address the issues, however, the issues still persist,” he added.
By George Kaiga