MOMBASA, KENYA: The National Aids Control Council has disclosed that Nyanza region has the highest number of Male Sexual Workers (MSW) and men who have sex with men ( MSM).
NACC statistics show that the number of MSWand MSM in Nyanza are 3,802 people followed by Coast with 1,686 and Nairobi comes third with 1570 people.
NACC and Most at Risk Populations (MARSPs) technical officer Aggrey Aluso revealed that there are close to 1,600 spots in Kenya where such men meet with their clientele.
Nyanza still leads with the highest number of such spots as it is estimated to have about 650 spots for MSW and MSM followed closely by Coast province with 238 spots.
“According to statistics by the National Aids and STIs Control Programme, Nyanza province leads with high number of spots for MARPs while Nairobi and Wajir comes third and last with an estimate of 211 and 55 spots respectively,” said Aluso.
In Nairobi County, Westlands had a total of 809 men sex workers followed by Kasarani with 334 and Lang’ata constituency which the study showed had a total of 174 people.
“In Mombasa County Mvita constituency leads with 341 MSW and MSM followed closely by Kisauni and Changamwe with a total of 258 and 122 men,” he explained.
He added that according to NACC 2009 statistics, MSM and prison populations contributed to 15 per cent of HIV/Aids new infections adding that statistics by Sex Workers Operation (swop) Kenya showed that HIV prevalence is high among MSM and stands at 40 per cent
At the same time, NACC asked the Government to invest in HIV/AIDS and take ownership of the fight against the pandemic by setting aside enough funds other than depending on foreign aid which is said to be dwindling.
National Aids Control Council Deputy Director Dr Sobbie Mulindi expressed concerns with government laxity in the fight against HIV /Aids in the country arguing that the money allocated to the health sector cannot sustain the programmes and are forced to depend on donors.
Dr Mulindi explained that the financial resources to sustain the national response on HIV/Aids from donors were dwindling arguing that there was a need for the government to actively mobilize resources to sustain the programme.
“Majority of all HIV/Aids programs are funded. 75 per cent of the funds are from donors while the government only contributes 13 per cent which is not enough, there is a need for the government to invest more funds in a bid to save the lives of those infected,” said Dr Mulindi.
He was speaking in Mombasa during a Media sensitization and training on HIV prevention.
Dr Mulindi argued that majority of all governments have taken ownership of HIV/Aids control by funding programmes related to the disease.
“What will happen in case of financial crisis among these donors, it means quite a number of people will suffer since the government has failed to be responsible enough,” he said.
He argued that donors priorities have changed hence it’s affecting the programmes adding that there was need for the government to set aside 15 per cent of the budget to health in order to sustain the programs.
He expressed fears that HIV/Aids rates could escalate if donor funding continued to dwindle.
“The government signed the Abuja declaration where it’s supposed to set aside 15 per cent of the budget to the health sector so that we can reduce the HIV/Aids infection,” he urged.
He added that HIV/Aids had an impact on the country’s development, education, health and transport sectors.
“The government has to allocate more funds to the HIV/Aids programmes but if leave things the way they are, we will have a big economic burden,” he added.-standardmedia.co.ke