In its 2015 report on HIV/Aids among children titled: ‘Statistical Update on Children, Adolescents and AIDS’, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) says almost half of the adolescents with HIV worldwide are in the six countries that include Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique and India.
The study says 26 adolescents are infected every hour in the Sub-Saharan region yet only one in 10 is tested for HIV.
Unicef described Aids as the number one cause of death among teenagers in Sub-Saharan Africa with the number of those dying from the condition having tripled in the last 15 years.
Mr Craig McClure, Unicef’s head of global HIV/Aids programmes, said on Tuesday in Johannesburg that adolescent is the only group where deaths are ever on the increase.
While majority of adolescents who die from aids-related illnesses were infected with HIV as infants, at a time fewer pregnant women carrying the virus received antiretroviral medication to prevent transmission, many of them have survived into their teens, sometimes without knowing their HIV status, hence spreading the virus.
Adolescent girls and young women, according to the report account for 71 per cent of new infections among youth between 15-24 years.
In Kenya sexual reproduction health information targeting adolescents is minimum or none.
Hence, PDI besides providing basic needs like books and blankets for school going children, PDI also equips teenage girls with the necessary information on Sexual Reproduction Health for prepare them a head of challenges that they may come along as young women. This includes information on HivlAids management and prevention besides avoiding Female Genital Mutilation. To this end PDI has: -
- Trained 75 girls on Life skills.
- Distributed sanitary towels and panties to girls aged between 9 yrs old to 15yrs in five schools.
- Organized football tournaments for out of school girls to stop FGM and early marriage messages.
- Organized community talks/engagements to educate 15 communities on ending FGM and early marriage where FGM and early marriage is highly practiced.
- Imparting skills on small scale income generating for out of school teenagers or victims of early marriage.
- Advanced seed capital as start-up or scale-up funds for the guardians’ income generation initiatives.
PDI endeavors to empowering the adolescent girls with appropriate skills, techniques and resources that will go a long way in alleviating the suffering that is associated with HIV/AIDS. To achieve this, PDI strongly believes that building the capacity of the adolescents to create and maintain sustainable livelihoods is the way forward.