• Local leaders told reproductive health and gender equality are essential in achieving sustainable development.
• Disrimination keeps people from seeking help and treatment.
Embu county commissioner Abdullahi Galgalo has urged residents to stop discriminating against persons living with HIV/Aids and disabled persons.
Galgalo asked leaders and the residents to stop segregating HIV/Aids patients and disabled persons and make them feel valued in the community.
He made the remarks on Friday on World Population Day. His speech was read on his behalf by Embu West subcounty commissioner Caroline Imaya.
Galgalo said leaders should recognise that reproductive health and gender equality are essential in achieving sustainable development.
The administrator called on leaders, policymakers, grassroots organisers, institutions and others to help make reproductive health and rights a reality for everyone.
Recently, during a forum on people living with HIV/Aids in Embu, it was agreed that stigmatising vulnerable groups in Eastern was worrying.
HIV/Aids programs coordinator in Embu Tharaka Nithi and Meru Marion Mashoo said Eastern is second in discrimination against HIV/Aids positive people at 49.2 per cent, after Northeastern.
Mashoo said the discrimination makes patients live with a lot of stress and hopelessness. They suffer silently since they don’t know where to go for remedy and justice.
During Wrld Population Day, health officials said six per cent of women in Embu deliver at home and that 33 per cent do not use family planning.
However, a lot of progress had been made in the county with planning services having been brought to the health facilities.
The rate of modern contraceptive use in Embu has increased to 67 per cent and women who use modern methods of family planning are at 71 per cent.
Most Women (82 per cent) are delivering in hospitals and assisted by skilled health providers, while their literacy is at 92 per cent. That of men stands at 95 per cent. Most local girls give birth at age 21.
Teen pregnancy is still high.
Edited by R.Wamochie