Homa Bay County: Kenya officially launched the Kenya Plan to End AIDS in Children by 2027. The ambitious strategy follows a national dialogue and a 100-day children and adolescents living with HIV (CALHIV) rapid result initiative (RRI) that calls for urgent response to end the spread of HIV among children and reduce infant mortality in the country.
Presiding over the launch, Susan Nakhumicha, the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Health, noted that the challenge of high mother-to-child transmission rates at 8.6% remains despite the country’s significant progress in the past decade, with a 57% reduction in new HIV infections and a 68% decrease in AIDS-related deaths.
She lauded Homa Bay County, under the leadership of Governor Hon. Gladys Wanga, for playing host for the launch of the crucial national dialogue.
H.E Gladys Wanga, Governor of Homa Bay County, said the plan would help her county, which has a high HIV prevalence, make significant milestones in ending HIV.
According to Dr Rose Wafula, the Head of the National Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Control Programme (NASCOP), Kenya’s treatment coverage for children living with HIV stands at 85 per cent, with only 74 per cent of them achieving viral suppression.
To address these challenges, the plan christened “Wakati Ni Sasa, End AIDS in Children” (loosely translated in English as “It is Time”) will see government and development partners in health prioritize ending HIV among children.
“Let us ensure children’s voices are heard by implementing this plan with fidelity and ensure no child is infected with HIV by 2027”, urged Dr. Wafula.
Acknowledging the importance of global partnerships and collaborative efforts in HIV/AIDS response, the Cabinet Secretary expressed her commitment to end AIDS in children as she launched the Plan to End AIDS in Children by 2027.
The four-pronged strategy will target eliminating AIDS in children in the next four years, including ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis.
The strategy will also leverage and accelerate a multi-sector approach to address the triple threat of new HIV infections, pregnancies and sexual and gender-based violence facing the youth.
With significant strides in the fight against HIV and a notable decline in new infections, Kenya joins 12 other African countries in the Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children by 2027.