The Embu Health department has responded to claims by a ward rep that the county government bought condoms worth Sh30 million and supplied them to hospitals that are in dire need of drugs.
County Director of Health Stephen Kaniaru said the trucks that were flagged off by Governor Martin Wambora mid- last month contained drugs worth Sh18 million that were distributed to the level four hospitals.
Speaking during World Aids Day commemorations at the University of Embu, Kaniaru said condoms were not included in the consignment since the county gets its provision of free condoms from Global Fund through the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa).
“The allegation that the county procured and flagged off condoms for distribution to hospitals is untrue. We depend on free condoms provision from Kemsa. Currently we don’t have a condom shortage so we have no need to order condoms through our normal essential drugs supplies,” he said.
Kambere MCA Lenny Mwaniki had alleged that the consignment of drugs also included condoms. He said that on visit to hospitals patients were told there are no drugs whereas the condom dispensers are filled to the brim.
Kaniaru clarified that the county government has in the last two months bought drugs worth close to Sh50 million from Kemsa and MEDs for the public health facilities.
He said condoms were also important in fighting the spread of HIV/Aids and urged people to get tested to know their status.
He said this financial year the county has set aside Sh1 million for the prevention of HIV/Aids.
Eastern Region National Aids Control Council coordinator Marion Mashoo said more than 2,000 youths between the age of 15 years and 24 years in Embu are living with HIV.
She said new infections in the county are still high, but added they now teach youth prevention methods.
Dorothy Kathomi, 24, who was born with HIV, is a peer educator at the Embu Level 5 Hospital. She advised Kenyans not to discriminate against people living with HIV but instead support them.