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Teenage HIV Prevalence Rise in Muranga

Some of expectant teenagers who have sought antenatal clinic in Murang’a health facilities have tested positive to HIV.

Murang’a County Health Executive Member for Health and Sanitation Mr. Joseph Mbai said among the pregnant teens in the county, four percent of them have tested HIV positive.

He said those who have been found positive have been introduced to ARVs and are being closely monitored by community health workers to ensure they take medication as prescribed so as to avoid mother-child infection.

On Wednesday, the CEC speaking when he launched a programme aimed at hastening diagnosis of TB and HIV, said that it was high time young people were engaged in sex education.

In Murang’a, Mbai observed, many young people are engaging in unprotected sex without knowing the consequences of the behavior.

“From our records, in Murang’a we have about 16,000 people living with HIV and among them, 25 percent are teenagers,” he added.

The CEC further said some of those found to be HIV positive sometimes neglect taking drugs as prescribed putting their sexual partners at risk of contradicting the disease.

He underscored the need to educate young people on dangers of engaging into early sex as the trend may destroy their future lives.

“We have engaged our community health volunteers and facilitated them with motorcycles so as to be picking specimen from all our health centres at grassroots and bring them to Murang’a level 5 hospital for diagnosis. The move will help to accelerate getting results of those who want to know their HIV or TB status,” explained Mbai.

In the programme that he launched today at Murang’a Level – 5 Hospital, Mbai said it is first one in the country and will reduce process of getting results from 12 days to two days.

“Initially, management of health centres used to bring the samples for diagnosis to Murang’a County hospital laboratory but now we have motorcycles fitted with cold box which will facilitate transport.

“This programme will help us to know exactly HIV prevalence in our county and this will help medical officers to manage those found positive,” added Mbai.

The specimen, Mbai said, will be handled well and the involved riders have been trained on how to carefully transport them for diagnosis.

“Health officers at facilities in grassroots will package the samples and the work of rider is to transport them to our referral hospital for testing and then results are transmitted back,” the CEC further said.

Meanwhile Mbai said the county government is working in partnership with private and mission hospitals to contain spread of coronavirus.

In all health facilities, he said there are some beds isolated to handle any case of covid-19 before further measures are taken.

By Bernard Munyao

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