Journalists refuse free AIDS tests

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- There was mild drama at Nairobi's Kenyatta National Hospital Thursday when journalists from various media houses in the Kenyan capital declined to undergo free tests for the incurable HIV/AIDS.
The local media on Friday reported the journalists turned down the offer from public health minister, Prof.
Sam Ongeri, when he launched a Voluntary Counselling Test Centre located at the main hospital.
Ongeri reportedly told the journalists to show the example as informers of the public by taking the free tests, an offer the media people politely declined, claiming they would do so later.
The Kenyan government in conjunction with its Japanese and United States counterparts launched the project in Kenya as one of the latest initiatives to contain the pandemic.
Latest official data indicate that an average of 700 people die of AIDS-related ailments each day in Kenya Kenyatta hospital will use the facility to offer free HIV/AIDS counselling and tests for three months after which the service will be extended to district and provincial hospitals as well as mission hospitals and health centres, Ongeri said.
The centre has a new test kits capable of processing and producing results in five to ten minutes compared to existing facilities which take a whole day to release the results.
It is also reputed to have an accuracy rate of 99.
5 percent.
Japanese Ambassador to Kenya, Morisho Aoki and his American counterpart, John Carson who attended the launch urged Kenyans to take the tests as part of efforts to combat the scourge.

10 august 2001 08:22:00




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