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USAID assures support to fight against HIV/Aids

The United States Government has assured residents of Turkana County of its commitment in supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS and Covid-19 pandemics.

USA Ambassador Eric Kneedler handing over a pack of Surgical Masks and Sanitary pads at St. Patrick’s Dispensary in Lodwar. Photo by Ekuwam Sylvester

During his visit to inspect USAID funded projects in Turkana County, the US Ambassador to Kenya Amb. Eric Kneedler commended the long existing partnership between the US government, the government of Kenya and the County Government of Turkana.

Speaking during his visit to St. Patrick’s dispensary in Lodwar, a facility owned by the Diocese of Lodwar and that has been at the forefront in the fight against HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, the US ambassador thanked the stakeholders who had come in to support the facility to combat HIV/AIDS.

“HIV/AIDS and Covid-19 the two battles, instead of retreating and instead of giving up we continued to support the fight,” said Kneedler.

Additionally, Kneedler donated surgical masks and N95 masks to help protect both patients and medics from contracting the Covid-19 virus.

He further donated sanitary pads to save the girls against what he called another impediment that makes them not to go to School.

On her part, the Medic in charge of the St. Patrick’s Dispensary Sr. Florence Wafula commended those willing to be tested for HIV/AIDS as she encouraged more people to visit the dispensary and get to know their HIV/AIDS status.

“We have 865 HIV positive clients in care, 109 are mothers, 128 youth,” said Sr. Wafula.

The Diocese of Lodwar Medical Coordinator, Sr. Doris Mulongo said that the US Ambassador chose to visit the facility because it is a high volume one in HIV care and treatment next to the largest Referral facility in the County, the Lodwar County Referral Hospital.

“St. Patrick’s was one of his centers of interest because, it is a high volume facility which receives the highest allocation of funds from the USAID, it is doing great despite its capacity,” said Sr. Mulongo.

“The Diocese of Lodwar is looking at improving the infrastructure of this facility to boost its performance so that it can do more than it is doing,” she said.

Diocese of Vicar General Fr. Paul Areman appreciated the youth, men and women who accepted their state of HIV and decided to live positively.

“The Diocese of Lodwar has been at the forefront of ensuring Turkana County has zero HIV positivity rate,” said Fr. Areman.

By Ekuwam Sylvester and Peter Gitonga

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