The Star (Nairobi)

3 December 2012

Kenya: Isiolo Aids Patients Cry Foul Over Food Donations

Hundreds of people living with HIV virus in Isiolo county yesterday raised concern over poor management and coordination in distribution of food supplement donated by various donors to the needy patients.

A section of the groups of PLWAS stormed the dais during this years World Aids Day celebration over the weekend where they demanded an audience from the guests.

Abdi Osman who spoke on behalf of the group accused Isiolo North Constituency Aids Control Committee (CACC) of failing to ensure that those on Anti-retro-viral and tuberculosis drugs, most of whom are too poor, got the necessary food donations. Instead, Osman claimed the food ended up in with for who it was not intended.

The Isiolo County Commissioner, Wanyama Musiambo assured that he would investigate the allegation with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation officials.

At the same time Musiambo called on the parents in the County to take responsibility and give moral guidance to their children to help keep them from getting infected.

He said while there was adequate awareness on HIV, cultural behavior challenges like early and forced marriages have made it difficult to reduce the HIV prevalence rate in the country which has remained at 4.5 per cent for the last three years.

An aspiring Deputy governor for Isiolo County Mohamed Guleid hailed organizations supporting the fight against HIV/Aids menace in the county but called for behavioral change among the youths and married couples.

Guleid lamented that majority of those infected with HIV in Isiolo were married couples and said the problem ought to be checked at household level.

Isiolo North CACC coordinator Adan Abdi said PLWAs in the area needed support due to their nutritional status and poverty level.

He called upon Isiolo residents to voluntarily visit counseling and testing centres so as to establish their HIV status. The district Aids and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Coordinator Stephen Kirigia said about 2,000 persons were already on ARVs drugs in Isiolo.

He urged those under anti-retro-viral therapy (ART) to utilize three more centers recently opened at APU, Prisons and Catholic Mission in effort to de-congest the district hospital.

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