10,000 people living with HIV in Turkana are not on treatment

A total of 10,000 people living with HIV in Turkana County are not receiving treatment despite their status.

Lodwar County Referral Hospital Director Dr Bonventure Ameyo urged stakeholders to use the community health strategy to integrate those infected.

Ameyo said the strategy would help deliver health services closer to the people. He was speaking at a meeting of county government health workers and USAID Imarisha Jamii program officials

HIV prevalence in Turkana County is 6.8% according to the Kenya Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment Survey (KENPHIA) 2018.

According to Jane Ajele, a member of the county’s executive committee for health, 42% of people newly infected with HIV are young people between the ages of 15 and 24, which she describes as unacceptable.

Ameyo said the county health team’s role as a technical advisor to the various USAID Imarisha Jamii programs (an Amref project) ensures the overall success of the project.

Project components include nutrition, HIV prevention and treatment, social health services for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), reproductive and maternal and child health, and health systems strengthening.

Speaking at the meeting, Ameyo commended the teams for the achievements made and highlighted key areas for improvement such as increasing HIV testing, measures to control new infections, keeping people in the program to avoid HIV-related deaths, stigma and modalities to ensure sustainability. in accordance with the Turkana County AIDS Implementation Plan.

He noted that as the partners’ projects come to an end, the county government will seek alternative ways of funding as part of the self-reliance journey.

Imarisha Jamii Deputy Chief of Party Dr Evans Osembo emphasized documentation and enhanced supervision, particularly in performance management, as a way to improve project indicators.

Discussion sessions at the meeting identified scaling up outreach activities in remote areas and migrant populations, targeting HIV testing service to men, use of data for decision-making, training of retraining to improve indicators as some of the priority areas.

Other areas identified were improving logistical support to reach patients and integrating sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) awareness with other outreach activities.

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