𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐭 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐮𝐝𝐬 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲-𝐋𝐞𝐝 𝐄𝐟𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐛𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐈𝐕/𝐀𝐈𝐃𝐒 𝐨𝐧 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐀𝐈𝐃𝐒 𝐃𝐚𝐲
Meru, Kenya - 1st December 2023 - In commemoration of World AIDS Day, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Nakhumicha S. Wafula, lauded community-driven initiatives for their pivotal role in combating HIV/AIDS during a ceremony held in Meru County.
Recognizing the enduring commitment of communities, the Cabinet Secretary emphasized their significant contributions spanning over three decades in tackling HIV since the epidemic's onset. Speaking at the event, she highlighted the indispensable role communities play in providing essential treatment, prevention, care, and support.
The Health Cabinet Secretary commended the invaluable efforts of Community Health Promoters (CHPs) and acknowledged their integral role in extending healthcare services, particularly in resource-limited settings. She underscored the importance of engaging CHPs due to their intimate understanding of local issues, rapport within the community, and cost-effective healthcare provision.
Nakhumicha urged the integration of HIV interventions into essential healthcare packages to ensure sustainable coverage for individuals living with HIV. She also called for a concerted effort in addressing gaps in HIV interventions, specifically emphasizing the need to end sexual violence against children and combat new HIV infections among adolescents.
Governor Kawira Mwangaza also expressed support for community healthcare workers, applauding the government's deployment of kits for Community Health Promoters and pledging collaborative efforts for their standardization and remuneration. This initiative will be jointly funded by the national and county governments.
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day, "Let Communities Lead," served as a poignant reminder to eradicate HIV-related stigma while honoring those affected by the virus.
During the event attended by Medical Services Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai the CS highlighted significant strides in HIV/AIDS management, noting that 1.3 million out of 1.4 million affected individuals in Kenya are receiving antiretroviral treatment across 3,000 health facilities, encompassing children and breastfeeding mothers.
The annual event served as a platform to commemorate progress made in addressing HIV and AIDS while reiterating the commitment to collectively work towards a future where HIV is no longer a public health threat.