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The Prevention of HIV/AIDS in Kenya

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Abstract

Kenya is a low-income country located in east Africa. Although Kenya has been making slow strides in trying to end poverty, it is still a low-income country that is facing both communicable and noncommunicable diseases. Kenya’s income per capita is about $1,640. With an income this low it makes it hard to get proper treatment and sustain good health. The outbreak of HIV in Africa started around 1960. The first case of HIV in Kenya was around 1984. Then by the mid- 1900s, HIV was the leading communicable disease followed by other diseases such as malaria. Kenya has been working with the Center of Disease Control (CDC) to help prevent more people from contracting HIV. Out of Kenya’s 8 Millennium Development Goals, “combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases,”(.nd.) is goal number 6 on the list. Kenya’s first goal is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Kenya does have an educational system with primary and secondary schooling but “over a quarter of young people have less than a lower secondary education and one in ten did not complete primary school”(Clark, 2018). Kenya does have a healthcare system but with recent corruption in the government funding for this health care system got cut. Currently, in Kenya, the life expectancy for women is 65 years old and 60 years old for men. The infant mortality rate is 39/1,000 live births. (CDC Global, n.d.).

Scope of the problem

According to the Global burden of disease, Kenya contains more communicable diseases than non-communicable diseases. Kenya has a population of about 49.7 million people, 1.6 million of whom are living with HIV. There have been about 25 thousand deaths due to AIDS in 2018 alone and about 46 thousand new HIV cases. In 2018, only 69% of adults and only 61% of children who already have HIV in Kenya were receiving treatment. Not everyone has access to the required treatment because of high amounts of stigma and discrimination against people with HIV. “As of 2015, 660,000 children were recorded as being orphaned by AIDS.”(HIV, 2019). Studies have also shown that in 2015, “almost half of the new HIV infections in Kenya were among girls and young women aged 15 to 24 years.”(Manguro, 2019). Not only is Kenya facing problems with diseases but they are facing problems with their health services. There is not an abundance of doctors or nurses in Kenya and that makes it extremely hard for people who are ill to receive the proper help they need “Kenya is one of the countries listed by the WHO as having a critical shortage of healthcare workers. Nationally, there is one doctor for every 10,000 people.” (Mwoka, 2017). (HIV, 2019).

Key Change Drivers

The reason why HIV spreads so rapidly through Kenya is because of the way the virus is contracted. It is transferred through the exchange of bodily fluids. HIV can be transferred through sexual activities, the sharing of used needles, and can even be transferred through breastfeeding. Not only does the majority of the population in Kenya have the risk of being afflicted with HIV, they are also more susceptible to catching diarrheal disease and Tuberculosis. If a person is already HIV positive then they are more at risk of exposure to other communicable diseases because there body is already weak and vulnerable from the HIV virus. This is not to say that if a person that does not have HIV is then immune to communicable diseases like diarrheal disease because they still can become infected, they just aren’t as susceptible as those people who have already contracted HIV..

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Financial Strategies

Kenya has worked with different partners and programs that have allowed them to reduce not only the spread of HIV and other communicable diseases throughout Kenya. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) played a huge role in treating people who have HIV and treating the people who do not have HIV but are at high risk of contracting it. “The CDC Kenya, through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has worked with multiple stakeholders, including the Kenya Ministry of Health (HOM) and local partners, to support and strengthen prevention and control efforts for HIV and TB” (“CDC Kenya’s,” n.d.). With these other stakeholders helping prevent more new cases, it is causing the HIV rates to decrease. ChildFund International has also taken part in making sure there is access to clean water and nutritious foods, expecially to families that have children under the age of 5. (Kenya, n.d).

Actions Taken/ Accomplishments

One of Kenya’s main priorities was to implement an HIV surveillance system and programs that monitor people’s health. Kenya also has support from the CDC for accreditation and training, HIV and TB testing, ext. The CDC also is supporting interventions for pregnant women. There is also a new treatment in Kenya called antiretroviral therapy (ART), “which focus on TB and other opportunistic infections in HIV infected adults and children.” Almost 600 thousand people living with HIV that are doing ART “nearly 90% of adults and 80% of children on ART are virally suppressed.” This has been one of the huge accomplishments that the CDC has helped Kenya overcome. Also, the CDC states that “overall mother to child transmission of HIV has reduced from 11% in 2011 to 3.6% in 2018.”

Recommendations

I would first recommend trying to keep kids in school by adding more programs that teach them about these harmful diseases and how to stay sanitary. If kids were taught more about HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases while in school they might make healthier choices when it comes to having sexual interactions with other people and being aware of how easy it is to contract such a harmful disease. I would also suggest that the CDC, Kenya Ministry of Health (HOM) or ChildFund International, find a way to supply better health care and or health services because, with such a large population and such a small about of professional help, something needs to be done. They could do this by training teachers at school that way they are more aware of problems and could try to stop anything before it could spread.

References

  1. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.indexmundi.com/kenya/millennium-development-goals.html
  2. CDC Global Health – Kenya. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/countries/kenya/
  3. CDC Kenya’s Global HIV & TB Program – Infographic. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/countries/kenya/infographics/hiv-tb-infographic.html
  4. Clark, N. (Ed.). (2018, December 17). Education in Kenya. Retrieved from https://wenr.wes.org/2015/06/education-kenya
  5. HIV and AIDS in Kenya. (2019, August 23). Retrieved from https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-world/sub-saharan-africa/kenya
  6. Kenya. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.childfund.org/kenya/
  7. Manguro, G. (2019, June 3). Kenya embraces new prevention efforts to reduce HIV infection. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/kenya-embraces-new-prevention-efforts-to-reduce-hiv-infection-80483
  8. Mwoka, M. (2017, October 26). Kenya’s Struggling Health System – Health is Global Blog. Retrieved from https://www.isglobal.org/en/healthisglobal/-/custom-blog-portlet/kenya-s-struggling-health-system/5083982/860

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The Prevention of HIV/AIDS in Kenya. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-prevention-of-hiv-aids-in-kenya/
“The Prevention of HIV/AIDS in Kenya.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-prevention-of-hiv-aids-in-kenya/
The Prevention of HIV/AIDS in Kenya. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-prevention-of-hiv-aids-in-kenya/> [Accessed 4 Feb. 2023].
The Prevention of HIV/AIDS in Kenya [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2023 Feb 4]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-prevention-of-hiv-aids-in-kenya/
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