Residents of Elgeyo Marakwet County have been urged to take part in a HIV survey conducted by the Kenya Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (KENPHIA) in the County.
The survey which is led by the National Government under the Ministry of Health is seeking to assess HIV prevention, care and treatment.
Speaking during the launch of the program in Elgeyo Marakwet, Governor Eng Alex Tolgos said the program will aid planning particularly on health sector.
“This is a very important exercise, it will give us data to know the health of our population and inform us on how we are going to plan for provision of services going forward,” said Tolgos.
According to a survey conducted by the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) in 2012, Elgeyo Marakwet County had a HIV prevalence rate of 2.1 percent. Governor Tolgos said the rate has increased with new infections occurring over the years.
While urging residents not to fear to take part in the exercise, Tolgos said there was need to create public awareness on the misconceptions of HIV and dispel myths that present HIV as a death sentence.
“There is need for us to go out there and talk to the general population, inform them that it is not like in the past where when somebody was found with HIV, that was like a death sentence,” said Tolgos.
The program will be conducted across the County with the exception of Marakwet East sub county due to insecurity in the region.
However, County Commissioner for Elgeyo Marakwet Dr Ahmed Omar has promised that the insecurity issue will be addressed to allow for the important exercise to reach all parts of the county.
“Marakwet East was not part of this program because of insecurity, we have discussed with the County Commissioner and we have agreed that there will be a cluster or two for Marakwet East, it is important that this program covers the whole of the county,” a KENPHIA officer said.
KENPHIA will help the Government, its partners and the public to know the number of people infected with HIV, the number of people with new infections and the number of people with HIV on effective treatment.
This information will help the government and its partners provide the right programs and resources to the people most in need of services.
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