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HIV burden makes Homa Bay vulnerable to Covid-19, says MP

County has a high number of people living with the virus

In Summary

• Owino said HIV patients are immune-suppressed and could lose their lives should they contract the coronavirus.

• The Kenya Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (Kenphia) report released in February puts the county’s HIV prevalence at 19.6 per cent

Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino distributes face masks to children at Riana in South Kabuoch ward on May 31, 2020
TAKE THAT: Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino distributes face masks to children at Riana in South Kabuoch ward on May 31, 2020
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

@robertomollo3

Homa Bay residents need relentless sensitisation against Covid-19 due to the county's HIV burden, Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino has said.

 

Owino said HIV patients are immune-suppressed and could lose their lives should they contract the coronavirus.

The Kenya Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (Kenphia) report released in February puts the county’s HIV prevalence at 19.6 per cent.

Opportunitistic infections like tuberculosis and pneumonia worsen the conditions of HIV patients and Covid-19 could be an additional risk. 

 
 

The legislator urged national and county governments to put more efforts in enforcing preventive measures against the spread of the virus in the county.

Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino with residents at Magina chief's camp in Kabuoch South ward on May 31, 2020
HOW-TO GUIDE: Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino with residents at Magina chief's camp in Kabuoch South ward on May 31, 2020
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

Homa Bay had recorded three Covid-19 patients by Monday. 

“It’s important we don’t have an alarming spread of the virus in Homa Bay. As stakeholders we must not relent on ways of preventing the spread of Covid-19,” Owino said.

The legislator spoke on Sunday at Magina chief’s camp in South Kabuoch ward when he launched a coronavirus awareness campaign. 

The MP distributed more than 10,000 face masks, 150 water tanks, over 1,000 litres of sanitiser and more than 500 bars of soap.

The sanitation materials were donated to boda boda riders and people with disabilities, children, women traders, security officers and health workers.

Owino said his sensitisation campaigns are grassroots-based to help residents continue abiding by Covid-19 prevention rules.

He urged residents to continue sleeping under treated mosquito nets to avoid contracting malaria.

“Let’s embrace all the government guidelines that prevent spread of the coronavirus,” Owino said.

Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino gives out bars soap for hand-washing to prevent possible spread of Covid-19 at Magina chief's camp in Kabuoch South on May31, 2020
THANK YOU: Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino gives out bars soap for hand-washing to prevent possible spread of Covid-19 at Magina chief's camp in Kabuoch South on May31, 2020
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

The MP expressed concern that many people still do not use face masks appropriately.

“Don’t put masks below your chins. The mask should cover both your mouth and nose for you to be protected,” the legislator said.

More than 300 community health volunteers have also been engaged to conduct the Covid-19 campaign awareness in Kanyamwa- Kologi, Kanyamwa -Kosewe, Kanyikela, Kabuoch North, Kwabwai and Kanyadoto wards.

The legislator said his office is also talking to counsellors to help address domestic conflicts that have arisen during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that a lot of cases of couples fighting have been reported in several homes in Ndhiwa.

“We have people who commit suicide because of frustrations brought by coronavirus pandemic. The community should know there will be life after the Covid-19 pandemic,” Owino said.

 

(edited by o. owino)