Kisumu participates in study on cause of death among adults with HIV

Blood sample for HIV test. [Getty Images]

Kisumu County will participate in a new study that seeks to establish the cause of death among adults with HIV in the region.

The study is led by Emory’s Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) programme and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to the county Health Department, while the use of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has significantly led to a decrease in HIV/AIDS-related deaths, the underlying causes of death in the older adult population remain unclear. 

The study will be conducted in the Manyatta catchment area, encompassing the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) and Siaya County Referral Hospital.

Victor Akelo, a researcher, who will lead the study for Kenya said knowing the definitive causes of death can significantly transform HIV programmes.

"The study will utilise the extensive laboratory capacity and partnerships within the Emory network across Africa which will be instrumental in identifying and documenting the specific causes of death amongst adults living with HIV," said Akelo.

JOOTRH currently provides HIV services to more than 6,500 adults with 116 HIV related deaths recorded between January 2022 and March 2023.

Champs South Africa co-director Ziyad Dangor said the findings of the study will be made available to local and global health programmes, policymakers, and practitioners which will inform the evaluation and improvement of existing HIV programmes. 

"This ultimately will ensure better service delivery for underserved communities. This study presents an opportunity to address the challenges faced by adults living with HIV," said Dangor.

According to statistics, Kisumu County is ranked second nationally with 14.5 per cent HIV prevalence, with Homa Bay leading at 15.2 per cent, Siaya at 13.2 per cent, and Migori at 9.7 per cent.

According to the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC), the elimination of mother-to-child transmission rate is at 5.3 per cent in Homa Bay, Kisumu (5.3 per cent), Migori (5.0 per cent), and Siaya 4.3 per cent, compared to 8.6 per cent nationally.

Meanwhile, Kisumu County is set to enhance access to Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) in line with the Universal Health Coverage initiative. 
Speaking during a meeting with a delegation from the CDC and the Ministry of Health, Governor Anyang Nyong'o said the Kisumu County Referral Hospital has been given the go-ahead to commence operations for testing services by June.

The governor assured that the county government is committed to providing leadership and support in transitioning viral load testing at the facility.