Ministry expanding its HIV/AIDS treatment infrastructure

THE Ministry of Health continues to expand its infrastructure meant to mitigate HIV and AIDS scourge countrywide.

Health Minister Charity Ngilu while answering questions fielded by Tigania East MP Peter Munya said that as a result, the ministry has opened upto 500 Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centres (VCT), 560 centres for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmision (PMTCT) and 194 comprehensive care centres to give treatment and support to people suffering from HIV and AIDS countrywide.

She however regretted that there were no VCTs in Tigania East and Central Divisions of the constituency.

Mr Munya had sought to know if the minister was aware that these divisions have no VCTs and that many people here were dying of HIV and AIDS related illnesses oblivious of their status and unable to take advantage of early detection to benefit from anti-retroviral drugs.

He also asked to be told what urgent measures the minister was taking to ensure that VCT centres are opened at Mikinduri and Kunati dispensaries within the next three months to arrest the deteriorating situation.

Machakos town MP Daudi Mwanzia (Narc) wondered whether it was practical for the ministry to provide VCT’s at a radius of 5 kilometres countrywide as decided by the minister in the ministry’s strategic plans. Dr Guracha Galgalo (Kanu Moyale) sought to know why the ministry can not combine VCTs and dispensaries as opposed to creating them exclusively to test AIDS at distances from hospitals.

Mr Munya asked to know why his people were dying of HIV and AIDS when the ministry is busy spending huge some of funds in training workshops and seminars instead of providing testing services and anti-retroviral drugs.

The minister reiterated that the ministry had developed a strategic plan where by VCT facilities will actually be provided at a radius of five kilometres countrywide.

She said that her ministry is combining dispensaries and VCTs adding their were plans to open up the facilities in Mikinduri and Kunati dispensaries to cater for the large population in the farthest side of the district.

Ngilu said the ministry will soon be training HIV/aids VCT consolers adding that at the moment 500 VCT had been opened in all district hospitals.

She said HIV prevalence in Meru North District was at 9.6 percent adding that it was far much lower than many other parts of the country. The minister said the number of people dying with AIDS has been of concern in the country as a whole and most district hospitals are now provided with ARV therapy.

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