KENYA: ARV programmes slowly recovering from post-election crisis

KENYA: ARV programmes slowly recovering from post-election crisis


Photo: Manoocher DEGHATI/IRIN
AMPATH has opened a satellite centre in the Nakuru Showground IDP camp where patients can receive ARVs

ELDORET, 28 April 2008 (PlusNews) – Thousands of Kenyans who dropped out of HIV treatment programmes in January as a result of the country’s post-election violence are gradually returning to clinics and the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs that help prolong their lives.

“Initially more than 90 percent of our patients failed to come for their monthly appointments during which they collect their drugs, but now they are returning slowly,” said Cleophas Chesoli, social work manager for the Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV (AMPATH), a research institution linked to Moi University in western Kenya’s Rift Valley town of Eldoret.

At the height of the crisis, AMPATH placed national announcements in the newspapers and on the radio advising clients on the nearest available health facility where they could get ARVs. AMPATH has 67,000 clients, with an estimated 30,000 on treatment; although it is still unclear how many patients missed their doses, Chesoli is hopeful that the chances of patients developing resistance are low.

“We generally give patients as much as six weeks’ worth of medication because many of our patents may not make their monthly consultations due to lack of transport or bus fare, or distance for the nearest centre,” he said.
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