Stigma, discrimination and denial still high amongst AIDs patients
03 July 2014, 10:44
Vihiga - Vihiga County director of health, Quido Ahindukha, has raised concern over the stigma, discrimination and denial which is still high among people infected with HIV in the region.
Dr Ahindukha said that many children suffering from HIV and AIDs in the county are being denied treatment by their parents, who at the same time do not want to accept their status.
He noted that health facilities in the county were recording low numbers of children seeking for medical attention as compared to the adults suffering from HIV and AIDs.
"Statistics reveal that 1 300 children from the county are HIV positive. Out of this number only 769 are being frequently brought for medication in our health facilities," said Ahindukha.
He spoke during the County Consultative Forum on HIV and AIDs, which was organised to formulate a new strategic framework in the fight against the disease.
Elizabeth Akaranga, who attended the forum, said that she was working towards helping women who are tasked with taking care of such victims.
"Women are hit hard by effects of HIV and Aids because they are left with the burden of taking care of victims with meagre resources and I am collaborating with the county with the view of helping those with such responsibilities," she said.
Ahindukha said more than 19 628 children in the county are orphaned by HIV and AIDs, adding that 9 618 of the orphans lead a poor and miserable life.
"Out of this number of poor children, only 769 which consists of 41 percent get assistance from the cash transfer programme," he said.
The National AIDs Control Council urged the county governments to take up sponsorship of programmes aimed at reducing new HIV infections as most donors were pulling out.
“With the ending of some sponsorship by the start of this new financial year, NACC will have its budget reduced by over 70 percent. The remaining 30 percent cannot sustain the set goals, as it may end up in the recurrent expenditure alone,” Edwin Lwanya of NACC said.
He said that to ensure that every HIV infected individual - adults and children - are on effective treatment, there needs to be mechanisms for mobilisation of sufficient resources.
“We are glad that Governor Moses Akaranga of Vihiga has accepted and shown a commitment in the fight against HIV, and want to encourage many other people to help fund the activities here in the county,” he said.
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