Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi on Tuesday, December 1, led from the frontline in encouraging HIV testing when she took on the test as members of the public looked on.
While commemorating World AIDS Day in Kajiado county, the CS took the bold step to try out the self-testing kits which give results in a shorter period of time.
The test was conducted by National AIDS and STIs Control Programme (NASCOP) HIV testing Services Manager Mary Mugambi, who explained the process of using the Oraquick kit.Health CAS Mwangangi using the self-test kit in Kajiado on December 1, 2020.
The CAS was taken through the simple testing process where fluid was collected from her mouth via swab on her gums.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Mwangangi disclosed that the self-test kit was an important development in HIV testing noting that the government was raising advocacy for its use.
She further lauded the automated HIV self-testing vending machine which was unveiled at the event.DR Mercy Mwangangi in Kajiado on December 1, 2020.
"The ATMs will allow the dispensing of self-testing kits across different institutions and in public places.
"A pilot is currently underway to determine how best to scale this intervention. Remember the old condom dispensers we had, it is basically the same theory," she explained.
The self-testing kit consists of an oral swab that is used to collect fluid from the gums, fluids similar to that used in blood testing. The test detects antibodies for HIV, not the virus itself.
One gently swipes the test swab along the upper gums once and the lower gums once. Thereafter one should insert the swab inside the test tube provided and it gives results in just 20 minutes.NASCOP Head Dr Ngugi explains to CAS, Health, DR. Mercy Mwangangi about the Self test kit on Tuesday, December 1, 2020.
In her speech on behalf of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during the occasion, Mwangangi noted that the country could only defeat HIV through a multi-pronged approach that covers increased awareness, action, and resources.
CS Kagwe applauded First Lady's Margaret Kenyatta's Beyond Zero initiative for catalysing the improvement in the provision of health services across the country.
“Her (First Lady Margaret Kenyatta) consistent support for the Government’s Linda Mama Programme under the Universal Healthcare Scheme has led to many mothers delivering in medical facilities assisted by professionals,” the Health CS noted.DR Mercy Mwangangi (left) using the HIV self-test on December 2, 2020.NASCOP
In her recorded message, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta rallied stakeholders to ramp up efforts to end HIV in the country by investing in programs that will help guard vulnerable citizens against the virus.
“I strongly advocate for zero new infections and zero mother-to-child transmission of HIV. I continue to encourage mothers to attend at least four antenatal checks where they can receive free testing,” the First Lady stated.the Oraquick self-testing kitsPSCU
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