HIV,AIDS prevalence reduces in Narok

By Bell Pere

The prevalence of HIV/Aids in Narok County has reduced from 5.4 to 2.75 percent this year, the County Director of Health Dr. Francis Kiio has said.
A combined effort of major stakeholders from the county and national governments in fighting the scourge helped drop figures that are below the national average.

Dr. Kiio also attributed the significant reduction to targeted intervention at the community levels.
The medic was speaking during this year’s world AIDS Day celebration held at the William Ole Ntimama Stadium in Narok North today.

 He said it is estimated that 18,000 people are currently affected by the virus but only 9000 are on Anti-retroviral treatment (ARV’S) which was not right because 90 per cent should be taking the drugs.

“We are not doing that well because we want to target the 90 per cent and that and it is because you and I who do not know our status are not taking the drug,” he added.

He urged all residents of Narok to go for HIV testing in order to know their status so that the county could bring in more drugs.

Dr. Kiio further said that the county was experiencing major challenges such as stigmatization which makes people to hide their status.

Other challenges they face include traveling long distances to access health facilities where those infected should be getting the ARV drugs.

“The distance between the health facility and those affected is over 15 km and that therefore becomes a setback,” said Kiio.

The County is working towards achieving the requirement of World Health Organization standard which requires health centres to be less than 5 km from people seeking medical services.

John Kamwigwe the Deputy Director of National AIDS Control Council, Policy Monitoring and Research Department said great progress had been realized in the country over the last five years.

The council had set a target of 75 percent reduction in new infections which reduced to 51 percent while the target of HIV related deaths set at 25 percent was overachieved to 60 percent.

“We also saw all the counties developing and implementing the County AIDS Strategic Plan,” he added.
The Director however said research has shown that the infections are quickly spreading among adolescents and youths at 40 percent and therefore a lot needs to be done.

Mr. Kamwigwe also said mother to child transmission lagged behind against the councils set target of completely eradicating the infections. “Mothers who fail to attend anti natal clinics do not deliver in hospitals and are at a high risk of infecting their new born babies, that is why a lot needs to be done in sensitizing them to seek proper healthcare,” said Kamwigwe.

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