Visit by the Executive Director UNAIDS
On 26-11-19, LVCT Health was privileged to host the UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima at our DREAMS site in Kiandutu, Kiambu County. Winnie interacted with the dream girls and encouraged them to be optimistic despite the many challenges they have faced. She asked them to embrace DREAMS as their second chance in life. Also present were the acting governor of Kiambu County, UN country coordinator, officials from PEPFAR, CDC Kenya and NACC among other dignitaries.
Later on, UNAIDS launched ‘Power to the People’ a 2019 global report on the state of HIV/AIDS. The launch was presided by the Cabinet Secretary for Health Sicily Kariuki.
Speaking at the launch the CS said that the Ministry of Health had put in place measures and resources to strengthen primary health care through enhanced community health services by expanding curriculum of training community health volunteers and provision of kits.
She revealed that Kenya was on track in reducing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The country had achieved a 51% reduction in new infections from 100,000 annually in 2013 to less than 50,000 with a HIV incidence currently at 1.8 %.
The ART coverage had also continued to improve in recent years with a total of 1.2 Million people on treatment. Reduction of AIDS related deaths from 60,000 in 2014 to 28,000 in 2018 enabling the country to move closer to achieving the 90:90:90 targets, she said.
The UNAIDS Secretary General and Executive Director of UNAIDS, Winnie Byanyima called for the advancement of women’s rights by tackling gender inequality to end AIDS.
“Despite progress in prevention and treatment, HIV remains the leading cause of death for women aged 15–49 years worldwide. Every week, 6000 young women aged 15–24 years are newly infected with HIV.” Said Winnie
In contributing to the 16 days of activism against gender violence, she was concerned by the numerous reports in the Kenyan media of gender violence resulting to deaths. “Every week, we read a media report of a woman, often a young woman, killed by her partner. We need to speak up for these women, call for justice and an end to impunity.” She lamented
She said in an effort to make the world a safe place, UNAIDS will pay more attention to fighting those laws, traditions, cultures and practices that enable and perpetuate gender-based violence. She called on all countries to ensure that health and education services were made available to all, including the poor.