Homa Bay County: LVCT Health’s Vukisha95 Project leadership were honored to welcome the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, during a tour of Kendu Bay Beach Management Unit (BMU) landing site in Homabay County.
Led by Dr. Michael Audo, Vukisha95 Project Director, the Ambassador was taken through the great work LVCT Health partnership with the County is accomplishing with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
LVCT Health implements a fisherfolk service delivery model aimed at reducing fishing communities’ vulnerability to HIV attributed to risky sexual behavior such as “fish for sex’ including the promotion of outdated cultural practices such as wife inheritance and sexual relationships.
Accompanied by H.E Governor Gladys Wanga, Homa Bay County, and officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ambassador was taken through the Beach Management Unit (BMU) structure and the various HIV programming interventions targeting the fisherfolk who are at a greater risk of HIV infection and have a higher HIV prevalence compared to the general population.
She also gained an understanding of the fishing and fish value chain activities undertaken at Kendu Bay, which is the largest BMU landing site in the County, such as boat building, net mending, fish weighing and fish processing.
LVCT Health collaborates with Kendu Bay BMU through the project to provide comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment services to its members and their families per national guidelines. The BMU is served by five trained fisherfolk peer educators whose roles include delivery of health education, referral and linkage to biomedical services, distribution of condoms and lubricants, mobilization of peers to outreaches and reporting peer education and field-level activities through national reporting tools.
The project is also building the capacity of beach management Units (BMU), the Fisheries Department, and the Ministry of Health on HIV technical programming for sustainability. The program has supported BMU in developing HIV Workplace policies, trained the BMU on savings and formation and management of cooperative societies, and facilitated the inclusion of BMU leadership to participate in National Key and vulnerable populations Technical Working Group meetings and activities.
Through the support of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), LVCT Health is offering a comprehensive package of biomedical, behavioral and structural interventions in HIV along 142 beaches and fish landing sites in 17 wards spread across six sub-Counties in Homa Bay county to reduce HIV infections among the fisher folk.