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Kisumu County steps up its fight against HIV/AIDS.

02 December 2013, 20:59

Nyanza - As the country marked the World Aids day, people living with disability have expressed concern that they are being left out by government and development partners in dissemination of public information on HIV.

Nyanza regional coordinator of united disabled of persons of Kenya Osodo Sengi lamented that people living with disability such as the blind, deaf or the visually impaired cannot visualize HIV/AID messages put on radio or aired on television screens.

“How can a blind or deaf person visualize these messages yet they equally affected by the HIV- scourge” he said.

Speaking to the media after celebrations to mark the 25th World Aids day at the Jomo Kenyatta sports ground in Kisumu, Sengi called for reformulation of policies to guide dissemination of public information on the menace that was declared a national disaster by the Government in 1999.

The guest of honor at the function, Kisumu County governor Jacktone Ranguma said his government has allocated 30% of its budget on health to fight the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

He said although some achievements have been recorded in decreasing new HIV infections in the area, the war on the pandemic is still far from over and it remains a serious health challenge.

Ranguma said since 2008, when the voluntary medical male circumcision was launched in the area, about 150,000 males aged between 15-49 years have been circumcised.

“Male circumcision has been found to reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 60% but we need high levels of funding to support evidence-based efforts to address the pandemic” he added.

He revealed that due to increased uptake of Anti-retroviral drugs by people who have tested positive, the HIV infected individual were living longer adding that as at December 2012, there were about 114,000 people living with the virus.

The governor said he plans to domesticate the Kenya National AIDS strategic plan so that it is implemented by stakeholders to reverse new HIV infections.

“Our focus is on prevention and we indeed to use local mechanisms, including Wadagi (dhuluo for, we have refused) to champion the fight against health and social ills, including HIV”, he added.

Under the initiative, midwives are to be trained by the heath personnel to help sensitize local people on preventive health.

Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura added his voice to those dissenting the proposed Bill, the Miscellaneous Amendment on the Public Benefit Organization (PBO) Act 2013.

The Bill seeks among other things to control external funding of NGO'd and  PBO's to not more than 15% of its total funding.

“Counties of Kisumu, Homabay ,Migori and Siaya are amongst the worst hit by HIV-scourge and we don’t support this” he added.

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