Kenya is known to have good policies, commitments, and laws that are good on paper but are rarely implemented.
The vast majority of the policies are left to attract dust on shelves and are remembered during the review period.
Essentially, Kenya is a signatory to East and Southern Africa’s commitment to Comprehensive Sexuality Education, ICPD25, Maputo protocol, Generation Equality Forum, and family planning 2030 commitments all meant to give Kenya a broader vision and direction to address the triple threats.
To unpack the triple threat, there has been a rising concern over the acute increase in new HIV infections, gender-based violence, and teenage pregnancies among adolescents and young people.
While addressing the triple threats remains the alma mater of both the government and civil society organizations, remarkable progress has been achieved with a big room for improvement.
Sadly, 30 young people aged 15-24 years register new HIV infections that occur daily.
Unfortunately, the interventions have proved to be stand-alone and missing a multi-sectoral approach in coordination that will ensure increased political goodwill, domestic financing, and rolling out of interventions holistically to ensure the root causes of the three social problems are solved with fruition.
Notably, according to the Ministry of health, there were 317,644 adolescents aged 10-19 pregnant last year and 12,520 aged 12-17 who sought sexual and gender-based violence services
This notwithstanding, Kenya has to move beyond launching and committing to good policies and regional/international commitments and dive deeper into actual well-coordinated implementation which should involve substantial tracking of progress made guided by documented indicators in the monitoring and evaluation framework.
Of importance, is the involvement of communities in all stages of implementation of the policies and commitments
Another better way of ending the triple threat is by adopting evidence-based programming. This involves tailor-making the interventions to suit the needs and traditions of certain communities so as to find sustainable solutions to address the triple threats.
This is doable through research to generate evidence that provides unique and smart solutions to avoid employing one-fit-all intervention in all counties.
Nevertheless, the biggest challenge has been appropriating funds for the implementation of the policies and actions. It is high time that the departments involved start with the Ministry of Health to ensure that the policies are developed and launched and get a budget line that will ensure that the pertinent GBV, teenage pregnancies, and new HIV infections are addressed.
Finally, let us move quickly to save the future generation by taking a keen interest in the health challenges hindering them to unleash their full potential.
Let us not be blinded by alarming statistics and instead replace them empathetically with real human beings in need of care, protection, and provision of comprehensive services. From the village up to the national level, all the players should ACT to end the triple threat.