Okeyo Foundation: Health


Mbita Sub-county faces one of the most serious effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the region. Because of its close proximity to two international borders (Uganda and Tanzania) and the high social mobility and interaction rates in the fish landing centers, HIV/AIDS infections continue to increase at an alarming rate.

Among the factors responsible for this high rate of infections include:-

  • high rate of sexual interactions in the fish settlements on the lake shores
  • migratory habits of the fishermen
  • Traditional practices such as widow inheritance
  • Conflicting information and myths on HIV/AIDS
  • Inadequate communication for behavior change programs

The number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS related deaths continue to sore and is estimated that well over 10,000 below 15 years in the sub-county are orphans and the figure continues to rise.

Teenage sex is also on the upward trend. A review of the treatment records at five of the health centers in the Sub-county showed that over 60 per cent of youths aged between 12 and 18 years had suffered from one or two of the following Sexually Transmitted Infections; Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID), gonorrhea, and syphilis.

Teenage pregnancy is a major problem among the youth. Antenatal clinic records reveal that girls as young as 13 years attend these clinics. Pregnancy is also cited as one of the major reasons for girls dropping out of school.

Harsh socio-economic conditions have rendered the traditional community structures ineffectual in dealing with the ravages of HIV/AIDS even as its impact continue to be felt in every aspect of community life. It is imperative that a strong capacity building program be put in place by National and County governments to help the community access professional and effective treatment promptly.

If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life. — Unknown