Kakamega County Assembly Health Committee members led by the Chairperson Hon. Lucas Radoli were this Friday taken through key policies; the HIV AIDS and STIs management policy and Sexual Gender Based Violence policy, by a County Government Executive team led by the CECM for Health Services Dr. Collins Matemba and a delegation from USAID funded Ampath, before the policies are presented to the Cabinet for discussion, amendment or adoption.
According to a Kenya HIV estimates report by the National Aids Control Council (NACC) and the National AIDS and STIs Control Programme (NASCOP), Kakamega County has more than 52,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, with 2,000 new yearly infections.
CECM for Health Services Dr. Collins Matemba, who is leading the County in the formulation and implementation of key policies in the Sector in his capacity as the County Executive Member said the HIV AIDS and STIs management policy will assist in putting together a clear roadmap to guide the County Government on what should be done. In addition, Dr. Matemba noted, the policy is also expected to guide on resource mobilization and allocation with the aim of reducing donor dependence.
“This Act is firmly anchored in law to ensure its existence extends beyond Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya’s term of office; we are working with all our partners towards consolidating our response as a way of taking care of infected persons and controling further infections,” the CECM said adding that the County Government has set up a Fund that will receive financial support from donors, partners and other well wishers in support of the process.
Dr. Matemba regretted, on the other hand, that Kakamega is one of the top ranked Counties in Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases across the Country and cautioned perpetrators of such acts of a stern action. The County is in the process of operationalizing a rescue centre to host victims of SGBV.
Health Committee Chairperson at the County Assembly of Kakamega Hon. Lucas Radoli said the members have recommended that 2.5 per cent of the Health budget be directed towards managing HIV/AIDS and STI cases.
Ampath Chief of Party Dr. Sylvester Kimaiyo who was represented by Dr. Benjamin Andama reiterated the support of the organisation to the County Government and promised that Ampath will be among the first partners to put money into the HIV/AIDS Fund to ensure smooth implementation of activities.
In attendance were MCAs from the Health Committee led by the Vice Chairperson Hon. John Musilwa, County Director for Medical Services Dr. John Otieno, Dr. Mike Ekisa, Madam Rose Muhanda the County SGBV Coordinator and the County Legal Officers; Madam Mildred Wandema and Mr. Justus Wabuko among other Officers.