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Canadian NGO to help fight HIV AIDS in Migori

24 June 2014, 23:43

Nairobi - A team from a Canadian Non – Governmental Organization has launched a massive HIV and Aids awareness in Migori County.

The group, from the Queen’s Health Outreach (QHO) based within the Kingston’s Queen’s University, is in Kenya to help in the war against increasing HIV and Aids infections along the beaches of Lake Victoria.

Led by Mitchel Edward, Rachel Ashley, Sarah Jarvis and Catriona Moggach, the group has set base in Nyatike Constituency which they identified as the hardest hit area due to its proximity to the lake and home to wealthy gold diggers.

Gold mining and activities in the area had reportedly led to many cases of school drop outs and early marriages.

The team which came into the country through a partnership of a Kenyan based organization Rieko Kenya, were sensitizing the sexually active youth of the dangers of the scourge, prevention measures and giving them free voluntary testing and counseling services.

“The team is targeting Nyatike constituency due to the high prevalence of HIV and Aids in the region as a result of reckless sexual lifestyles along the beaches of Lake Victoria and in the local gold mines,” said the executive director of Rieko Kenya, Mr. Kabaka Ochenge

“This awareness programme is meant to scale up counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS among the youth to enable them to make informed positive choices,” added Mr. Edward.

He said the partnership was formed due to the overwhelming number of youth being infected by HIV/AIDS and the high number of orphaned children whose parents succumbed to the scourge.

The sensitization activities were carried out through theatre, songs and sport to attract participation of the youth aged between 12 and 30, stated Edward.

The programme was also taking place in 20 primary and five secondary schools in the constituency.

“Through interactive lesson plans, QHO and Rieko Kenya are able to engage students through the material being taught and this has seen a significant improvement in the understanding of prevalent health issues. Students continued to ask incredibly thoughtful and intelligent questions regarding the transmission of HIV/AIDS and ways to reduce stigma within their community,” explained Ochenge.

Education officials from the region endorsed the programme as causing improved awareness among the youth in the region and called for participation of other organizations noting that “the ever increasing level of children being left orphans in the lake region was worrying.”

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