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Leaders launch campaign to protect girls

Education
 Opposition leader’s wife Ida Odinga and other female leaders from Nyanza speak at Raila Odinga Stadium in Homa Bay town. [James Omoro, Standard]

Alarmed by the soaring numbers of pregnant schoolgirls,  female leaders and professionals have embarked on an initiative to fight the triple threat in four Nyanza counties.

They expressed concern about rising new HIV infections, teen pregnancies  and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). 

The women are working under the banner of Nyi Nam (Women of the Lake) to protect young girls and have started a campaign to end the problem in Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori, and Siaya counties.

According to the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC), 29,725 girls stopped learning to deliver babies in hospitals last year in the region.

According to the NSDCC CEO Ruth Masha, out of 10 mothers giving birth in the region, five are girls.

Dr Masha said 37 percent of those who fall victim to SGBV are children.

Last year, 1,096 children aged between 10 and 19 years contracted AIDS in Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya and Migori counties.

Speaking at Raila Odinga Stadium in Homa Bay town during an event to launch the fight against triple threat, Dr Masha called on Nyanza leaders to work round the clock to rescue girls.

The meeting was organised and attended by top female leaders in Nyanza region led by Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s wife Ida Odinga, Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga, Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo, her counterparts Millie Odhiambo (Suba North), Eve Obara (Kabondo Kasipul), Rosa Buyu (Kisumu West), Kisumu Woman Rep Ruth Odinga, her Migori counterpart  Fatuma Mohamed and nominated Senator Beatrice Ogola. It also brought together female professionals in various fields.

Ida challenged Nyanza residents to take care of girls and cushion them risks which exposes them to triple threat.

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