Voluntary Counselling and Testing
The Municipal Health directorate is currently engaged in a comprehensive educational, counselling and testing campaign at all health facilities in the Municipality in line with the HIV/ AIDS response initiative. In this regard, a “Know-Your-Status” campaign is vigorously being followed at all Out Patient’s Departments and referrals are made to treatment sites.. This is complemented by outreach services to sensitise the people on the need to know their HIV/AIDS status. The Manna Mission Centre and the OPEC Clinic are also planning to start antiretroviral therapy centres.
Currently condom use as per the planned target for 2009 is 85% with high patronage from both sexes.
Prevention of mother to child transmission
All pregnant women in the Municipality reporting for ante-natal are sensitised, counselled and tested and referred depending upon their status. By the end of 2009, 47 or 2% out of 2,610 pregnant women tested responded positive for HIV/AIDS. It should also be appreciated that the figure could be larger since it includes only recorded cases This is a matter of concern which should attract the Assembly and all stakeholders to pull together their resources to address this developmental issue. Health care providers such as Christian Medical Centre, Manna Mission, OPEC Clinic, Lister Hospital and Family Hospital are providers of services to prevent mother to child transmission.
This is done mainly through television and radio stations, and visits to churches, mosques and schools.
Care and Support.
The health directorate oversees the services provided at the various health facilities, PL support groups and HIV activities in the municipality. The care and support is also done through management of opportunity infections (OIs) and people with the infection are given prophylaxis such as cotrimoxaxole with other OI tablets.
Reported Cases of HIV/AIDS in 2009
The year 2009 saw an increase in the reported cases of HIV/AIDS in the municipality from 47 in 2008 to 174 by the end of 2009. This shows a drastic increase of approximately 270%. It must once again be reiterated that the situation may be worse since these are recorded cases. In increase in the figure could also be attributed to the ongoing sensitisation campaigns and the avenues for voluntary testing and counselling available in the municipality.