Nation Media Group journalist Leon Lidigu was selected to join Africa Reaching the End of Aids in Children and Youth by 2025 (Africa REACH) Leadership Council.
Lidigu received the news through an official letter dated Thursday, January 12, from the organisation’s chairperson and First Lady of Namibia Monica Geingos.
In the appointment letter seen by Kenyans.co.ke, Gringos further invited Lidigu for the official launching of the Africa REACH initiative scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February 2023.
“As a health system advocate and seasoned Journalist championing change for children and young people, I warmly extend an invitation to you to join our leadership council,” the letter read in part.
The appointment meant that Lidigu would be part of a team that will be required to develop strategies to bring an end to HIV/Aids in children and youth in Africa.
The appointment came after Lidigu entered two stories into the WHO/ICFJ Violence Against Children Reporting Contest 2022 and placed third overall.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Wednesday, January 18, the award-winning journalist stated that the appointment was an inspiration as it allowed him to be part of the team that would come up with strategies to end HIV/AIDS infection by 2025.
“It’s humbling, motivating, and inspiring that someone somewhere noticed my work and coverage of HIV/AIDS in Kenya and on the continent and invited me to join other African voices.
“I am hoping to learn from what is happening in other countries and bring those solutions back home,” Lidigu stated.
Moreover, Lidigu highlighted the KNBS report on HIV released on Tuesday, January 17, adding that it was concerning that Kenyan teenagers aged 15 to 17 did not know how to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.
“The National Syndemic Diseases Council reports that young people in the nation are currently taking what they refer to as "drug holidays" and are increasingly skipping doses of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).
“This should worry us because the ARV generation is now of age, and if we are not careful as a nation, we may have to deal with an HIV crisis,” Lidigu explained.
Lidigu noted that while pursuing one of the stories he entered in the Violence Against Children Reporting Contest titled 'Away from ARVs, I just want to die,' he learnt that children living with HIV in Kenya felt that their parents denied them much-needed information.
“If they are told early and made to realise the importance of religiously taking ARVs, they will not have to grapple with accepting things as they are,” Lidigu stated
On Tuesday, January 17, a report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) put Murang’a County top on the list of women with more than two sexual partners revealing that 11 percent of Kenyan women with multiple sexual partners were from Murang’a County.
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