Theme: ‘’Step up for HIV Prevention: Youth Na Plan’’
Every year, Upendo Foundation joins the other organizations and the Ministry of Health in celebrating the World Aids on the first day of December. This event is organized by a collaboration of the organizations and groups that undertake HIV/AIDS activities in Rachuonyo South Sub-County, Oyugis town in Western Kenya. The 2017 World Aids day marked a memorable time to reflect on the events and HIV activities that Upendo Foundation has done in line with the 2017 theme. The negative impact of HIV is a major concern and cuts across some of the very crucial activities we undertake to improve the living standards of the target groups we support. During this day, a good number of partners and collaborators gathered together to share their experiences in the field of HIV/AIDS. Upendo, as a player in the field of health, had the opportunity to inform the gathering about the Healthy Choices programme run in schools for the youth to better understand and change their behaviour for a healthy future. This was very significant to the theme of stepping up HIV prevention among the youth. At the Ted Rayner Memorial clinic in Kirongo, HIV testing and counselling services have begun and the community members are encouraged to visit the facility for HIV/Aids related services and other opportunistic infections treatment. The Upendo organization through the affiliate projects of Imani and Kirongo provides support to the groups of people living with HIV/AIDS who play a vital role in encouraging their members to live positively with the condition.
This was a big event attended by different health stakeholders from the CSO’s, CBO’s, FBO’s, County Government, Ministry of Health and representatives from the National Government. The lessons learnt on this day will be replicated to create innovative solutions that would leverage activities to help the youth and young adults raise more awareness and take action in the right direction to help reduce the infection rate among the youth who seem to be more vulnerable.
Upendo with the affiliate projects will endeavour to uphold the spirit of prevention, control and management of the HIV/AIDS among the target population and to engage the youth in schools to create more awareness and to be agents in averting the rate of HIV/AIDS spread among their peers. Gradually we hope to upscale the HIV/IADS activities and services and to have the community health workers and field officers make regular referrals to the Ted Rayner clinic for testing and counselling for the clients. This will enhance the ability of the workforce in food production and other income generating activities to benefit the community members.
Thanks to Amani UK for sponsoring our participation at this very important event and we believe it will enhance a transformational process for the staff that will be able to undertake the relevant activities to help the community get access to healthcare and HIV/AIDS prevention services at the different Health facilities.
Leonard Odongo – Programme Manager.