By Noordin Omar, Garissa.
The County Government of Garissa is burying its head in the sand when it comes to the fight against spread of HIV/Aids. This is according to People Living With Aids (PLWA) in the County.
Led by their Chairperson Mrs. Habiba Hassan during this year’s World Aids day celebrations held at Garissa Primary school’s playground, they now want the County administration to be more proactive by investing in sensitization programmes on the scourge.
“We need funds to sensitize people so as to reduce new infections. We need funds to fight stigmatization which is so rampant with our communities. The county government has totally ignored us,” said Mrs Habiba
Habiba is a mother of four and has been living with the virus for the last ten years. She publicly declared her status despite the fact that stigmatization is so prevalent among the Somali Community.
The Aids epidemic is slowly eating into the County’s population as statistics indicate more than 1500 are currently leaving the virus.
Many others could be living in denial as fear of stigmatization hinders them from seeking medical assistance such as testing, counseling and ARVs.
The event was presided over by the County CEC for health Ms. Sofia Sheikh who denied accusation that her administration was not committed to the fight against the scourge.
“It’s not true that we have turned a blind eye to people living with HIV as we are treating them at our facilities. We have included them in our budget plan,” she said.
The theme of theme of this year’s event was “Getting to Zero: Zero new infections, Zero discrimination, Zero Aids-related deaths”.