Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha reaffirmed her dedication to combating teenage pregnancies, HIV transmission, and sexual violence against children. Nakhumicha emphasized that these cases strain the healthcare budget as survivors seek medical assistance in hospitals.
“If a woman faces violence, there is a budget for her care. She will seek medical attention. If a teenager becomes pregnant and contracts HIV, it adds pressure to our healthcare system,” stated Nakhumicha.
The CS highlighted that funds allocated to treat HIV patients, if preemptively utilized, could facilitate the establishment of cancer centers in all counties nationwide.
To prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission and achieve Kenya’s 2027 target, set by President William Ruto, Nakhumicha urged mothers to adhere to Antiretroviral drug (ARV) regimens.
Nakhumicha spoke during the launch of the Western block to end the triple threat in Bungoma County, an event attended by leaders from the Western region.
“People should undergo testing to understand how to prevent HIV infections and manage the disease if diagnosed positive,” emphasized Lusaka, referencing the alarming statistics, particularly in Kanduyi constituency.
Nakhumicha encouraged condom use to mitigate HIV transmission and its associated burdens.
Data from the ministry of health revealed that over 1.3 million Kenyans live with HIV, including nearly 7,000 children aged between 0 and 14 years.
Furthermore, in 2023, approximately 20,053 cases of sexual and gender-based violence were reported among adolescents aged 10 to 17 years.
Leaders from five Western counties, including Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, Trans Nzoia, and Kakamega, committed to partnering with government agencies and stakeholders to eradicate child pregnancies, new HIV infections in children, and sexual gender-based violence.
Governor Kenneth Lusaka, addressing the high prevalence of child pregnancies and gender-based violence in Bungoma, called for proactive measures and community involvement.
Vihiga Women Representative Beatrice Adagala called for stringent laws against sexual perpetrators, advocating for severe penalties.
MP Didimus Barasa echoed the call for men’s responsibility in ending sexual violence and pledged support for preventive measures.
Dr. Ruth Laibon Masha, CEO of the National Syndemic Disease Control Council (NSDCC), stressed the importance of HPV vaccination to prevent cancer.
Dr. Kelly Oluoch, CEO of Kenya Medical Teaching College (KMTC), pledged support to combat the triple threat, emphasizing the institution’s commitment to the cause.
CS Nakhumicha also launched Community Health Promoters (CHP) kits and announced stipend payments to 3,500 promoters in Bungoma County, reinforcing the government’s commitment to preventive healthcare.
In conclusion, these concerted efforts aim to mitigate the dire consequences of teenage pregnancies, HIV transmission, and sexual violence against children, ultimately fostering a healthier society.