There is a shortage of condoms and ARVs in both public and private hospitals in Taita Taveta County.
This is according to a survey carried out by the county’s health services department just a week after cases of teen pregnancies were reported to have reached a high of over 2000 in the county.
The shortage has largely influenced a spur in numbers of early teenage pregnancies in the county with Voi Sub-county leading with over 900 teenage girls impregnated according to County Executive Committee Member in charge of Health services John Mwakima.
Speaking after chairing a quarterly County HIV meeting held at Voi youth offices, Mwakima said the County Government started experiencing the problem early this year after COVID 19 pandemic hit .
“This came about during the start of this year, we are running low on condoms and also running low on ARV’s,” he said.
Haki Africa raised the concern some months ago with the health department denying the shortage. HIV/AIDS patients were forced to turn to private facilities for ARV’S where they had to pay huge fees for the drugs, this is according to Haki Africa Officer Alex Mbela .
“I already had been told that the HIV patients are suffering and personally I know of one who was forced to go to a private facility to get the drugs at a cost that is hefty, the county has to do something ,” Alex said.
This comes amid a huge debt row of over Ksh.60 million that the county owes the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) that has affected the flow and supply of drugs into the county for more that 5 months.
The county is however in partnership with various stakeholders and has rolled out mitigation measures including youth sensitization activities across the county to address the rising teenage pregnancies that has raised eyebrows among residents.
“As a department we are trying to put up measures to curb this predicament we are also trying to reach out to other stakeholders to see how they can help us because people are suffering,” Mwakima said.
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