Posted by: africanpressorganization | 25 March 2011

New Clinic Offers Roadside Health Care for Hard-to-Reach Populations on the Kenyan Uganda Border

 


 

 

 

New Clinic Offers Roadside Health Care for Hard-to-Reach Populations on the Kenyan Uganda Border

 

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 25, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Press Notes

IOM and Kenya’s National AIDS Control Council are today opening a free health care clinic to assist vulnerable and often hard-to-reach mobile populations on the busy Kenyan-Ugandan border.

The health centre, which is located in the heart of a trailer park in the town of Busia, in Kenya’s Western province, will address the health needs of mobile populations, including the provision of free tuberculosis, malaria and HIV treatment. Nurses will be available 24 hours a day to offer free and confidential HIV counseling.

“This is just a beginning,” says Alloys Orago, Director of the National AIDS Control Council. “Working with IOM and the Kenya National AIDS/STI Control Programme, we aim to pepper the entire western and northern transport corridors with free health care clinics specifically designed for hard-to-reach populations.”

These include truck drivers, civil servants and female sex workers who, due to their deprived social and economic environment, are particularly prone to engaging in risky sex and, therefore, vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

News of the opening of the Busia Wellness Centre has already triggered a cross border meeting between Kenyan and Ugandan Government officials who met to discuss ways to offer a common health care package for mobile populations on both sides of the border.

“We see the Busia Wellness Centre as a first step,” says Greg Irving, IOM Health Programme Officer.  “We now need to address structural issues such as condom availability and empowering female sex workers to negotiate safer sex. We also need to address behavioral issues such as overcoming misconceptions surrounding HIV. Strengthened partnerships, accountability, coordination and financial commitment will ultimately prevent new HIV infections.”

This initiative is funded by the Joint UN Programme of Support on AIDS (JUPSA)

SOURCE 

International Office of Migration (IOM)


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