Youth Decry Lack of Condom dispensers at Public Utilities
As the world on Friday marked the International AIDS Day, youth in Baringo called upon concerned agencies to provide more condoms in public utilities.
Speaking during the event held at the Kabarnet Museum, the youth noted that most offices were running short of the important tool used in fighting HIV/AIDS scourge in the County.
A student chair Kenya Medical Technical College (KMTC) Kabarnet campus George Odenyo said public offices should have well serviced condom dispensers so as to ensure that the public gets easy access whenever in need.
Odenyo urged the public not to fear talking about matters concerning AIDS saying the scourge was within the society and that families were affected by it.
He said more awareness needed to be done so that those who contract the disease could receive proper medication and those that were negative could continue living a free life.
Mary Ruto, a student of KMTC Kabarnet reiterated the sentiments saying reproductive health is an issue affecting everyone and in order to live a productive life, people ought to be well educated about their health.
Ruto said women should also be made aware that female condoms exist so that they could protect themselves like their male counterparts.
Chairperson of Baringo County empowerment team, a local CBO, Stella Jemutai called for condom dispensers to be placed both inside and outside to allow ease of access to the condoms during hours when they are closed when sexual activities are at the peak.
She urged the youth to engage in meaningful activities that can benefit their lives, noting that youth engage in dangerous vices such as commercial sex and alcoholism which had contributed to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDs.
“The current trend where young girls, especially in schools date older men popularly referred as ‘sponsors’ was contributing to the spread of new HIV infections,” warned Ms. Jemutai.
Marketing Officer at Kisii University Kabarnet Campus Robert Kipkorir, said there was need to sensitise the community against stigma which was contributing to low turnout even in such events.
He urged the public to come in large numbers to such meetings so that they could be enlightened on crucial matters affecting them.
The meeting however recorded low turnout, which comprised of a fair representations of youth from various institutions which was blamed on stigma on HIV/Aids victims.
The event, which was the first of its kind to be organised solely by the youth from the county, was sponsored by Kisii University Kabarnet Campus, Kenya Medical Training College, Baringo County Empowerment Team (BACET) and Mnandi Motorbikes.
Meanwhile, there was good news from the National Aids Control Council statistics which indicated that the HIV prevalence rate in Baringo dropped from 3 per cent in 2013/2014 to 1.6 per cent in the latest data collected in 2014/2015.
It is also estimated that 5,508 people are living with the disease while 3,300 of them have been identifies and enrolled in care treatment in the county.
By Benson Kelio and Christopher Kiprop