The United States of America (USA) has spent 8 billion dollars to fight HIV/AIDS in Kenya, according to a senior USA official Ms Heidi O’Bra.
O’Bra who is the Deputy Director in the Office of Health, Population and Nutrition at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said in Migori Thursday that her country was still keen to invest more in the war against the disease in Kenya and throughout the world.
Making her key note address during celebrations to mark this year’s World Aids Day, Ms O’Bra also noted that the United States had also to date spent more than 100 billion USA Dollars globally in distributing HIV/Aids drugs, Kits and educating the masses against the spread of the killer virus.
She said that concerted efforts have been put in place to ensure that Migori County and the Country at large register a significant decline in the number of HIV/AIDS patients in the County and the Country at large.
Through a programme dubbed US President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR), the USA has been able to run funds to respond to the health needs, mainly HIV/AIDS, of Nations such as Kenya with a view to treating and arresting further infections
The official added that through a strong partnership with Kenya, they have been able to assist the health systems in the country to work well towards achieving a shared vision of suppressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic by 2030 as per the Country blueprint framework.
She said that PEPFAR initiative in Kenya has supported HIV/AIDS services at more than 2800 community health clinics and laboratories, enhanced disease control monitoring, improved supply chain, heightened health and laboratories information systems in many parts of the Country with Migori County being a major beneficiary.
“PEPFAR has strengthened public health systems in all parts of the country in order to enable easy access to healthcare for victims of HIV/AIDS in Kenya and Migori County is no exception,” she explained.
O’Bra added that PEPFAR will continue to provide support to ensure that people of all ages, gender and the less privileged groups have equitable access to life saving HIV/Aids drugs, prevention kits and treatment services.
The organisation will also partners seriously on issues to help the medical team come up with support policies that will see patients’ access good health.
Speaking at the same forum, deputy Governor Joseph Mahiri blamed retrogressive cultural activities like female genital mutilation and women to women marriage culture -‘Nyumba mboke’ – as some of the practices greatly fueling HIV/AIDS infections in the region.
Mahiri said that the fight against the scourge had been sabotaged by those embracing such cultural practices especially within the Kuria community and appealed to them to discard the vices immediately.
By George Agimba