25 November 2008

Kenya Health

Women to Promote Male Cut

By John Ngriachcu Posted Monday, November 24 2008 at 21:05

Spurred on by reports of a significant increase in HIV infections among married couples, health officials want to involve women in the drive to have more Kenyan men undergo circumcision. Speaking at the launch of the voluntary male circumcision programme at Panafric Hotel, Nairobi on Monday, Public Health and Sanitation assistant minister James Gesami said the ministry would provide free counselling for couples on the benefits of male circumcision.  Counselling will be part of Government’s strategy to promote the male cut in Kenya, partly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the US Government.  This follows recent release of data from the Kenya Aids Indicator Survey that shows two-thirds of Kenyan adults infected with HIV are legally married or cohabiting and that in one of every 10 marital unions, at least one partner is living with HIV, forming what doctors call ‘discordant couples’.

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TB Vaccine Trials in Fourth Month

By Gatonye Gathura Posted Tuesday, November 25 2008 at 21:50

Clinical trials of a new TB vaccine enter their fourth month next week in Kombewa near Kisumu amid fears that funding gaps may worsen with the deepening global cash crisis.  In the first stage of human testing, known as Phase I trials, the new vaccine is being tested for safety on adults with no previous history of TB at the Walter Reed Project in Kombewa.  The Walter Reed Project is the medical research arm of the US military, and has been working with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) on several programmes.  Researchers hope the candidate vaccine will improve immunity in people who have already received the standard Bacille Calmette GuĂ©rin (BCG) vaccine.  Although most Kenyans were vaccinated with BCG, the vaccine is said to be no longer as effective as it once was.  

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