President Uhuru Kenyatta said Kenya has made tremendous strides in slowing the spread of HIV / AIDS in recent years, noting that new infections fell by 68.4% between 2013 and this year.
Over the same period, the number of HIV / AIDS-related deaths fell by 67% from 58,446 people in 2013 to 19,486 this year.
The head of state attributed the positive indicators to growing government investment in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of HIV / AIDS and related diseases.
“This encouraging achievement is due to the increase in the number of people in life-saving antiretroviral treatments, which rose 83% from 656,369 in 2013 to 1,199,101 in 2021,” he said.
The president spoke in the Nakuru district on Wednesday as he led the nation to mark this year’s World AIDS Day, an event also raised by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and Heath PS Susan Mochache.
President Kenyatta said Kenya is a leading African country in access to antiretroviral therapy and praised Kenyans for volunteering in activities aimed at slowing the spread of HIV.
While the president directed health and finance ministries to ensure the country had adequate supplies of HIV treatment and prevention supplies, the president assured that the government would continue to do everything possible to fight the disease.
“My government recognizes that HIV remains one of the greatest public health problems in the world. Rather, our concern is that HIV disproportionately affects the most vulnerable members of our society – the poor, marginalized groups, children, women, adolescents and young adults.
“In addition, the epidemic continues to be very prevalent in the 15- to 49-year-old age group, which is the most productive group in our society. So we need to maintain profits, accelerate progress and fill any gaps that stand in the way of eradicating this pandemic, ”he said.
At the same time, the president criticized the increasing number of teenage pregnancies in the country, saying the dire situation is undermining the country’s socio-economic transformation agenda and progress in ending HIV / AIDS as a public health threat.
In her speech, Health PS Susan Mochache said the various government interventions such as the Linda Mama Maternal Health Program and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero initiative had contributed to the decline in HIV / AIDS infections in the country, as the statistics show reflect.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui reiterated the president’s concerns about the rising cases of teenage pregnancy in the country, saying the situation is fueling rising cases of HIV infection among adolescents.