First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has pledged to intervene and support efforts to mitigate high HIV prevalence rate in Nyanza.
The First Lady singled out Homa Bay County, saying it needed greatest support in combating the spread of the HIV virus.
She expressed concern over the sorry state of health in Homa Bay, which is reportedly the leading county nationally with a HIV prevalence rate of 25.7 per cent.
Speaking at Homa Bay High School on Friday, Mrs Kenyatta said she is devoted to ensure the spread of the virus is combated along the Lake region.
“Reports show that HIV infection in Homa Bay is the highest. I pledge to provide the requisite support to ensure the well-being of our people,” Mrs Kenyatta said.
The First Lady noted that the high prevalence rate has been occasioned by the lifestyle of fish mongers and fishermen, and urged the fishing community to change their attitude to help in achieving the goal.
During the occasion, Mrs Kenyatta officially handed over a modern mobile clinic to the County Government of Homa Bay.
The mobile clinic has been acquired through the efforts of the Equity Bank, Beyond Zero campaign spearheaded by Mrs Kenyatta and Homa Bay County Government.
She reiterated her commitment to participate in marathons to help raise funds for improving health in the entire country.
“As I hand over this mobile clinic, I want to assure residents that the facility will enhance delivery of babies and ensure that preventable and curable infections do not kill our people anymore,” the First lady said.
The mobile clinic is kitted with medical equivalent similar to the ones available in a Level 5 hospital.
This came as Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma expressed concern over the lack of a Level 5 hospital in the county and asked the Government to see to its establishment.
Area Governor Cyprian Awiti expressed optimism that the medical equipment would help reduce poor health indicators which have hampered living conditions.
“Health indicators are a key issue and I want to assure Mrs Kenyatta that the equipment will help us reach those living in interior parts of the county and even places with poor infrastructure,” said Awiti.
He appealed to the national government and development partners to join hands and help his efforts to curb HIV infection rates in the Lakeside county.
Homa Bay Women Representative, Gladys Wanga, appealed to area leaders to work together in sensitisation campaigns to help curb spread of the infection.
Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia assured the residents that they will have two Level 5 hospitals in six months, as sufficient funds for the projects had already been allocated by the Government.
“The Government has set aside Sh34 billion for the upgrading of two hospitals in every county to Level 5 in a bid to improve health care in the country. The nationwide programme will last six months,” Macharia said.
By James Omoro, The Standard