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Aids vaccine by KEMRI gives hope

By The Standard | January 31st 2017
Professor Aggrey Omu Anzala, Founding member of Kenya Aids Vaccine Initiative (KAVI) (right) and Research scientist Robert Lang'at with some of their vials in the past. PHOTO: FILE

The ravages of HIV and Aids on society are there for all to see. Women, particularly, bear the brunt when they have to raise families on meagre resources and stigma in cases where husbands succumb to Aids.

Men on the other hand have been unable to cope with family pressures after the demise of their wives even as many orphans are consigned to difficult lives following the deaths of their parents. The toll of Aids on the economy and the medical sector cannot be gainsaid.

The launch of an HIV vaccine by Kenyan scientists comes as a welcome relief. Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) researchers have undertaken studies on women aged between 18 and 40 years to determine the efficacy of a vaccine developed by KEMRI scientists.

It is not the first time Kenyan scientists are taking a stab at containing AIDS. In the 1990s, KEMRI scientists, led by Dr Davy Koech, came up with KEMRON; a drug they believed could cure Aids. Such efforts show there is light at the end of the tunnel.

With continued support from the Government, which should facilitate research through adequate funding, it will not be long before an effective vaccine, even cure for AIDS are found.

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