Inside Homa Bay ups fight against GBV among girls

Tuesday, April 18th, 2023 03:30 | By
Inside Homa Bay ups fight against GBV among girls
A representational image of Gender-based violence(GBV) PHOTO/Illustrator

Alarmed by the soaring cases of teenage pregnancy, new HIV infections and Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases among young girls and adolescents in Homa Bay county, stakeholders have embarked on a new initiative to tackle the threats.

The development is part of wider efforts to raise an HIV-free generation after several years of battling with high HIV prevalence rates which currently stands at 19.6 percent.

In the initiative, The Ministry of Health in partnership with Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation (Egpaf) and Homa Bay County Government have started an empowerment program targeted at young girls.

Dubbed “Girl-Power”, the programme seeks to empower girls in the devolved unit and improve awareness to the triple threat that is threatening their future. The collaborative effort has identified 36 health facilities across the county that will help spearhead the program that aims to mentor young girls.

The programme will see girls taken through counselling sessions, HIV testing as well as training on mental health. They will also be taken through trainings on how to handle stress and depression. Already, the partners have identified and trained 40 mentors who will help with the implementation of the programme.

According to Egpaf-Kenya Country Director Eliud Mwangi, the program will also help address problems associated with mother to child transmission of HIV by encouraging girls to deliver in hospitals.

“Teen pregnancies, HIV, STI and SGBV are serious issues affecting the future lives of girls and young mothers. We must fight them,” Mwangi said.

Mwangi believes the program will help teenage girls to have more understanding on how to take care of their health. His sentiments were echoed by Andrew Mulwa, the Director medical services preventive and promotive health at the Ministry of Health who said that the government will also incorporate Community Health Workers to help implement the programme.

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