Kenya Launches a Commitment Plan to End the Triple Threat by 2027

Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Nakhumicha Wafula has reiterated her commitment to ending new HIV infections, pregnancies and sexual & gender-based violence in adolescents, popularly known as the triple threat.
Nakhumicha said it is unacceptable to have girls forced into early sex and subsequently drop out of school because of pregnancies.
Data from the latest HIV estimates reveals that in 2023, approximately 254,753 adolescent pregnancies were reported, out of which 13,239 were children aged 10 and 14 years. In the same year, 23,456 adolescents and children aged between 10 and 17 years were sexually violated, and 3,403 were those aged 0–9 years. Approximately 67,869 children aged 0–14 years are living with HIV.

Effective HIV prevention
The CS said the cases are taking a toll on the Country’s health budget. “If we prevent new HIV infections in children and adolescents, the savings are enough to construct cancer centres across the country,” she said while calling on mothers to take AntiRetroviral drugs to prevent mother-child transmission. She urged all people who are sexually active to use condoms to prevent HIV transmission.
Nakhumicha was speaking in Bungoma County during the launch of the Whole Government and Whole Society approach to ending the triple threat.
The event brought together women leaders, county and community leaders, government officials, and National Government Administration Officers, among other stakeholders.
Bungoma Governor Hon. Kenneth Lusaka called on the public to get tested and embrace effective HIV prevention methods.

HPV vaccination
Dr. Ruth Laibon-Masha, NSDCC CEO, said that despite early sex contributing to HIV infections in children and adolescents, it is also leading to increased cases of Human papillomavirus, which causes cancer.
“Early sex doesn’t only risk HIV infections, but we are recording more cases of HPV in these children,” said Masha.
The CEO drummed support for HPV vaccination, saying it is the only sure way of preventing cancer, a disease that kills at least nine women in Kenya every day.