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CS Nakhumicha to grace the World AIDS Day in Meru

The Cabinet Secretary for Health Nakhumicha S. Wafula is on Friday expected to preside over the commemoration of the annual World Aids Day scheduled to take place on December 1 in Meru County.

The global event as per the World Health Organization (WHO) calendar is themed around “Let Communities Lead”.

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The exercise will take place two days after Kenya marked 20 years of US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief [PEPFAR] in the country following their initiative of saving lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS through moving from an emergency program to one squarely focused on controlling the epidemic.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Kenya National Library Services, Nakhumicha underscored commitment by the Government of Kenya to eradicate HIV/AIDS in children by 2027 as pledged under the Global Alliance.

“The GOK has in the past two years increased its commitment by KES1Billion to stabilize the commodity pipeline so that there are no treatment interruptions. Under Kenya Kwanza administration,we are committed to end AIDS in children by 2027 as part of the Global Alliance. The “Wakati ni Sasa” campaign is a major boost and call for recommitment to regain the lost ground for children” she remarked.

President William Ruto on his part praised the partnership between Kenya and its partners in taming the scourge which has claimed million of lives worldwide

“We are highly grateful to our overseas partners for their superb partnership that has changed the fortunes of our nation. Such strong show of solidarity is highly appreciated and we do not take the friendship and support for granted,” noted President Ruto.

The Head of State argued that Universal Health Coverage [UHC] pillar of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda [BETA] offers a significant opportunity to effectively address the domestic financing gap with respect to HIV.

“We must work together in creating awareness on the dangers posed by the disease.I call on all stakeholders to embrace this opportunity and make their contribution to a transformed and sustainable national HIV response,” Dr Ruto affirmed

The focus going forward according to Nakhumicha will be on strengthening, leveraging  and accelerating multi-sector approach to address the triple threat of new HIV infections, pregnancies and sexual and gender-based violence facing the youth.

The ministry will also advocate for inclusion of benefits for vulnerable households of children and women living with HIV within socio-protection, nutritional support and social health insurance frameworks.

“We will invest in community-led peer to peer models such as mentor mothers and the robust network of Community Health Promoters,” said the CS

She noted that through partnerships and collaboration, Kenya reduced new HIV infections by 57 per cent and AIDS-related death decreased by 68 per cent over the last 10 years.

According to statistics, 1.3 million of the 1.4 million people living with HIV receive ARVs from more than 3,000 health facilities in Kenya, including more than 48,000 children and 55,000 breastfeeding mothers.

In 1988 the global community set aside every December 1 to commemorate World AIDS Day to renew their commitment to ending AIDS as a public health threat. In Kenya, the first case was officially recorded 38 years ago. Since then, the Country has lost more than 2 million people to AIDS-related deaths.

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