Kenya: Health Workers Access to Anti-HIV Medication Low Despite Risk – Report

Healthcare workers are at high risk of HIV and other blood-borne infections but do not access medication to prevent infections in good time nor do they stick to them as required, a study says.

This means that more than 130, 000 health workers — doctors, nurses and other medical personnel — are at risk of a virus that infects nearly 100, 000 Kenyans annually.A survey titled “Report on Occupational Exposure to Blood/Body Fluids and HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis in Health Care Facilities in Kenya (2011 – 2014)” shows that despite the risk of exposure, “access and adherence to post-exposure prophylaxis (to prevent HIV infection) was sub optimal amongst the health workers.”The study, conducted in March 2015 by reviewing data from 2011 to 2014, notes: “Occupational exposure to blood or other body fluids in healthcare settings constitutes a small but significant risk of transmission of HIV and other blood-borne pathogens.”The Ministry of Health is seeking to change this by preventing the infections “through strict infection prevention and control, universal precautions, use of safe devices, proper waste disposal, immunisation, and prompt management of exposures.”HIV POLICY DOCUMENTSThese are some of the issues lined up for discussion Friday (July 15) in Nairobi during the launch of nearly seven policy documents on HIV management in the country.

Source: The Nation