The rate of deaths among HIV positive persons in Homa Bay and Kisumu counties is expected to reduce after the launch of an integrated health programme in the counties.
This comes after a group of none governmental organizations in collaboration with the Kenyan Government launch a health project known as Healthy Hearts Africa in the area.
The organizations that include AstraZeneca, PATH and PEPFAR launched the programme on Tuesday at Atela Health Center in Rachuonyo East Sub County in Homa Bay County.
The integrated programm for HIV and hypertension is aimed at reducing deaths resulting from cardiovascular diseases especially among HIV positive persons.
Speaking during the launch, AstraZeneca Senior Director Ashling Mulvaney and the organization Chief Compliance Officer Katarina Agemborg said a number of HIV positive persons are prone to hypertension. Mulvaney said the programme involves testing people for hypertension which she said is free of charge and referring them for medication.
“Many people who suffer from HIV are vulnerable to attacks by hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases,” said Mulvaney. She expressed concern that there are many people who unknowingly suffer from hypertension.
Agemborg said the project which is being piloted will be undertaken in the two counties in over 50 health facilities for 12 months.
“We believe the programme is going to reduce risks of hypertension by making patients aware of their status. We will liaise with the Government of Kenya to make a decision on the programme sustainability when the right time comes,” said Agemborg.
The programme is aimed at screening more than 2500 HIV positive persons from the two counties during the pilot duration.