KENYA: Camp conditions harsh for HIV-positive displaced people

KENYA: Camp conditions harsh for HIV-positive displaced people


Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
IDPs have insufficient food, soap and warm clothing in the camps

NAKURU, 29 April 2008 (PlusNews) – Harsh living conditions and the onset of the cold rainy season in Kenya are making it increasingly difficult for HIV-positive people displaced in the recent post-election violence to stay healthy, according to health workers in the camps.

“The main difficulty is getting a good balanced diet,” said Ancilla Kemunto, a government community healthcare worker at the largest camp for internally displaced people [IDPs] in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru. “Although, like other IDPs, they [HIV-positive people] get the WFP [United Nations World Food Programme] rations, they are not nutritious or large enough to keep them healthy.”

The situation is all the more worrying, given Kenya’s looming food crisis after a poor rainy season between October and December, and the impact of the post-election crisis on agriculture, in which tens of thousands of farmers, casual labourers and food traders were displaced.

The post-election violence started in early January 2008 after presidential elections were held on 27 December 2007, and continued until an agreement was signed on 28 February, usually the peak of the agricultural season.
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