World Aids Day: Our efforts in fighting disease must not be eroded - First lady

"The importance of this day reminds us that we still have not won the war."

In Summary

• There is a critical need for increased awareness and resources for prevention and treatment of HIV, especially amongst the youth.

• Through Beyond Zero, I committed to support Government efforts towards achieving our national targets to heed the global call towards ending HIV.

First lady Margaret Kenyatta.
First lady Margaret Kenyatta.
Image: PSCU

The World Aids Day day is set aside to raise awareness of the HIV pandemic. It calls on us to unite and reaffirm our commitment to stop new HIV infections, support those infected and affected by HIV, and remember those who have lost their lives due to Aids.

Thirty-two years since World Aids Day was first dedicated towards awareness and global solidarity in the Aids response, the importance of this day reminds us that we still have not won the war.

This year’s theme emphasizes Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility. It calls on us to come together as a community to scale up our efforts towards ending HIV, protecting people living with Aids and shielding those who are most at risk.

 
 

We are reminded that our efforts will continue to be challenged because of the changing health landscape, especially this year when the whole world’s attention has been focused on the Covid-19 pandemic.

This pandemic has heightened our attention towards the vulnerability of the human race. It has challenged our realization of the delicate complexity of our health systems and it has reminded us that we must remain resilient.

Kenya’s HIV prevalence rates over the years have come down considerably to less than 4.5 per cent; this shows a positive trajectory that has required both individual and collective effort.

Our efforts have won us recognition on issues concerning the protection of women and children and the promotion of equal opportunities towards their health and development.  

Our efforts must not be eroded; our gains must continue towards the global end to HIV.

There is a critical need for increased awareness and resources for prevention and treatment of HIV especially amongst our youth, and more work to protect people living with Aids from stigma and discrimination.

Through Beyond Zero, I committed to support Government efforts towards achieving our national targets to heed the global call towards ending HIV.

 

I strongly advocate for zero new infections and zero mother to child transmission of HIV.

I continue to encourage mothers to attend at least four antenatal checks where they can receive free testing. For seropositive mothers, please attend post-natal clinics and adhere to the prescribed antiretroviral treatment protocol.

 

I congratulate all county government efforts towards increased investment and resources to fight this virus through their Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV Business Plans; these are critical vehicles for target setting and tracking.

I urge for more collaboration, resource allocation and support through partnerships with national and international partners to scale up and expand access to prevent the spread of HIV for our mothers, our children and our youth.

I applaud the work of our community health workers for their tireless work and dedication to ensure that pregnant mothers in their community deliver their babies in a health facility and receive proper health care.

I am confident that together, we can achieve our national prevalence target of 0% through our collective actions.