Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF
During the April 14th launch event, the out-reach team, with a street theater group, went around the city of Ndhiwa to call on public participation to the ceremony and raise public awareness on HIV. *** Local Caption *** On April 11th, 2014 –Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and local health authorities officially launched a new HIV program that they will jointly run in Ndhiwa sub-county, Homa Bay County, in Western Kenya. In this region, more than one fourth of the population is leaving with HIV.
During the 4 years of activities, the program will aim at reducing the number of new infections among the population as well as the mortality related to HIV. This will be made possible by implementing universal and regular testing for the whole population of Ndhiwa sub county and setting up early quality treatment for people living with HIV as well as providing quality care for people hospitalized. Furthermore, the increase access to viral load testing will help ascertain that patients are at the lowest risk of transmitting the virus
The MSF / Ministry of Health program will focus on simplifying the way healthcare is provided to patients, through an adaptation of medical protocols and the inclusion of non-medical workers in the provision of care. Such medical protocols will include encouraging the community to get tested and receive ART as early as possible if found infected to reduce transmitting the virus to others, as well as to support adherence to the treatment. Systematic screening and provision of ART for all HIV positive pregnant women will be implemented, in order to reduce mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of the virus. HIV testing program will also be integrated in routine immunization programs for young children. Medical male circumcision will also be key in impacting the rate at which men get infected.