By Brighton Makori.
There number of HIV/AIDS Mother child transmission has reported to be increased in 2020 during COVID 19 pandemic due to fear of mother to seek antenatal and Post care.
In Nyamira , Kisii , Homabay and Migori counties the number who contracted increased up to 1,184 .
Speaking in Kisii on Tuesday during the launch of National HIV/AIDS strategic plan to break the cycle of new infections in a consultative meeting for women leaders on HIV,teen pregnancies and elimination of mother to child transmission drawn from four counties in South Nyanza, PS Susan Mochache HIV remains an engendered issue in this country.
“we have seen the numbers of Mother child transmission going high in the country especially in Kisii,Migori ,Homa bay and Nyamira counties which has recorded the highest numbers,”said. adding that the County implementation plans shall remain tools to remind us of our collective efforts to stem the HIV epidemic
Mochache said health care facilities recorded low turn out of mothers seeking antenatal care as many feared getting covid19 tests and this has negatively impacted to lives of child born during this period whose mothers are HIV positive.
” Covid19 negatively impacted to young girls whereby high numbers of teen pregnancies were recorded across the country,”Said the PS.
She noted there is a high number of HIV infections between the age of 15-24 years in the four counties.
“HIV remains an engendered issue in this country. We have made significant progress, but not enough to stop the infections especially among our children, girls and women. By the end of 2020, close to 900,000 women of whom 95,000 are young girls and women aged 15-24 were living with HIV” she said
The Ps noted that HIV remains both a public health and social issue that requires political solutions by thanking the the Counties leadership who have embarked on the process of developing County led plans that will allow to break the cycle of new HIV infections and ensure all those infected are on medication. .
Mochache added that the country has witnessed very little support of resources from donors in regard to the country’s Economy growth forcing for domestic sourcing
The women leaders joined hands in social mobilizing and advocacy in efforts to complimenting ongoing efforts against high HIV infections among young girls/women and teen pregnancies.
The caucus will mobilize and catalyze actions for women to support elimination of mother to child transmission(EMTCT) program.
Present was Kisii Governor James Ongwae who said that is a good idea that NACC organized the event for women and girls in the spirit of community engagement towards eradicating the ailment .
Ongwae noted that this means that sensitization drive towards prevention of HIV-AIDS and mitigation efforts will cut across the region to effectively help clamp down on the malady, through a common approach.
“The inclusion of Maendeleo ya Wanawake, community-based organizations, self-help groups, women Living with HIV/Adolescents Living with HIV and community health workers, will go a long way in instilling the spirit of community participation and engagement, right in the grassroots.” He said