Care of Kiambu HIV children to improve

Cheer Up Programme links community facilities, accelerates testing and treatment

In Summary

• About 2,400 children are targeted in the Cheer Up Programme. Most cases from mother-to-child transmission.

• Children Living with HIV (aged to 14) are 3,179 or 6%. Kiambu is sixth among 18 high-burden counties with 5.6 per cent prevalence. 

ARV tablets
ARV DRUGS: ARV tablets
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Kiambu children living with HIV are expected to get improved treatment and support in the Cheer Up Programme.

The county has adopted a Quality Improvement Model for Children Living with HIV (CLHIV). About 2,400 children are targeted.

The programme is implemented by the Cheer UP Programme (CUP), a Community Based Organisation under a USAID-funded project. 

The project is expected to build and strengthen community-facility linkages and referral networks to identify, assess and link to testing and communication of results.

The model will accelerate treatment, viral tracking and suppression of CLHIV through a mix of interventions.

In an information meeting in Kiambu subcounty, programme manager Lydia Muthoni said the Cheer Up mission aims at improving the quality of life in society.

It aims to empower communities, provide leadership, promoting collaboration with the national government and other parties to reduce poverty, HIV and other public concerns.

Kiambu county is sixth among the 18 HIV high-burden counties with a prevalence rate of 5.6 per cent.

The county has an estimated 52,812 people living with HIV as of 2020. 

Of these numbers, 49,632 are adults; adolescents (aged 10-19) number 2,536 or 4.8 per cent; young adults (aged 15-24) are 3,978 (7.5 per cent).

Children Living with HIV (aged up to 14) are 3,179 (6.0 per cent).

Muthoni said that in 2020, 171 new infections were recorded among adolescents aged 10-19 and 434 cases among young people aged 15 to 24.

The estimated AIDS-related deaths were 145 (17 per cent) among children aged 0-14 years and 89 (10.4 per cent) among Children living with HIV aged 10-19.

Out of these Children Living with HIV, the Cheer Up Programme has enrolled 601 children and adolescents living with HIV aged 0-17.

“Having someone near you who shares your interests, fears and understands you is a rare blessing. At Cheer Up, we have organised support groups in which people with the same need, sit down together and face it together,” Muthoni said.

County director of Public Health and Sanitation Teresiah Kariuki said this year, the county has registered more than 46 new HIV infections as of May.

“Most cases of children living with HIV are a result of mother-to-child transmission, hence, the need for sensitisation and care as these cases can be prevented if such programmes are encouraged," Kariuki said.

In June this year, the National Aids Control Council reported about 78,469 Kenyan children are living with HIV. It said 5,201 were new infections reported by May.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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