Taita Taveta County on July 26, 2022 launched the HIV Action Plan 2020-2025 at Moi County Referral Hospital- Voi with a promise to prevent, treat, care for, and support infected and affected residents to lead a normal healthy life.
The Plan, bringing on board the Department of Health Services, National AIDs Control Council (NACC), and several donor-funded entities, is a timely intervention as the county is currently facing HIV prevalence of 3.4 per cent, with a majority of those most affected falling in the age brackets of 10 years and early 20s according to a bi-annual data review and assessment of HIV indicators.
“The burden of HIV/AIDS is cutting across socioeconomic spectrums in the county and it is worrying that adolescents and young adults are becoming the largest chunk of victims,” said Charity Mwabili, the County Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections coordinator.
The main objective of the plan is to bolster the access to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for HIV victims in the spheres of prevention, treatment, care, and support at health institutions as well as at homes.
“We are looking to have universal health coverage for HIV/AIDS victims and give them preferences when it comes to access to prevention, treatment, and care both at our county health facilities and homes,” said Philomena Kirote, the County Chief Officer Health Department.
As the county finds itself at odds with surging HIV prevalence, fingers have been pointed to the lessened financial support toward the scourge as the country and the world switched to focus on Covid-19.
“On one part we can blame the scaling down of funds to support the fight against HIV/AIDS but we all know the country and the world at large was faced with Covid-19 and the refocus of resources was inevitable,” added madam Kirote.
However, the current trend points to a behavioral and attitude problem among the youths in their disregard and dangerous sexual habits that put their lives in the line of danger.
“With everything considered, we cannot turn a blind eye to the behavioral factor among the youthful population in keeping the HIV prevalence high in the county. We have to speak to that, and this plan has incorporated a wholesome approach to combat this scourge,” said Miss County Community AIDS Coordinator, Esther Karani.
By Arnold Linga Masila