More needs to be done in Aids fight, says CS

The country has made great strides in its response to the HIV and Aids epidemic in the last 30 years, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said yesterday.

In a speech read on his behalf by Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi during the commemoration of the World Aids Day in Kajiado County, Kagwe said mitigation efforts by the Government and stakeholders had yielded fruits.

“We have made significant progress in our HIV response by reducing annual Aids-related deaths from as high as 166,000 in 2007 to the current 20,997 in 2019,” he said.

The CS added that HIV infections have also reduced from over 101,000 to around 41,000 by the end of 2019.

However, Kagwe noted that there are still areas where the country needs to do more, especially in the area of reducing new HIV infections.

“We need to put more efforts if we want to stay on the course of ending the spread of HIV. The country continues to lose an estimated 57 citizens per day due to this scourge and this is not acceptable,” added the CS.

The Cabinet Secretary said this year has been tough for the health sector being the most affected because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the country, however, continues to monitor critical indicators to ensure it does not reverse gains made in the fight against HIV and remain on course to achieve targets as it works towards eradicating the virus spread by 2030.

Kagwe said his Ministry will work closely with the National Health Insurance Fund to seek ways of ensuring that HIV prevention, treatment and care services are included within Universal Health Care coverage.

Kajiado County Governor Joseph Ole Lenku said the county is ranked among the 29 medium HIV prevalence counties.

During the event, Dr Mwangangi officially launched the Kajiado County AIDS and STI, strategic plan 2020 and also commissioned a newly launched HIV self test machine.

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