News / Africa

Kenya Launches Safe Blood Collection Effort

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

The testing and screening of blood have become a big part of fighting HIV / AIDS in developing countries.  The tests can determine the health of a person’s immune system by measuring the level of disease fighting CD4 cells. The lower the level, the more advanced the disease.

But local clinics don’t always have enough staff or training to keep up with demand -- or to ensure that the blood is collected safely.

However, Kenya is taking action Monday to change that with the launch of a new program.  It has partnered with the U.S. medical technology firm BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company)  and PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief,  to train clinicians how to safely collect and handle blood.

Big problem

Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, head of Kenya’s National AIDS / STD Control Program, describes the scope of Kenya’s HIV/AIDS problem.

“We estimate that HIV prevalence in Kenya is around 7 percent.  That is looking at people between 15 years and 64 years old.  And there’s a big difference between men and women.  Women’s HIV prevalence is around 8.4 percent and men it’s 5.3 percent,” he says.

He says it means that out of a population of 40 million, about 1.4 million people in Kenya are living with HIV/AIDS.

Muraguri says Kenya has a new HIV strategic plan.  “We have an ambitious program to eliminate potentially any risk of HIV transmission in our health care settings.  We have around 650,000 people currently under care.  These are people who are HIV positive.”

Caring for them involves blood tests, a minimum of about two per year per person.  “We’re talking about 1.2 million samples being drawn,” says Dr. Muraguri.

Blood samples are drawn for other diseases as well.

“Now if that’s not done properly, there is an obvious risk to the health worker and also a risk to the patient as well,” he says. “Within a certain environment we can completely stop transmission.”

Training

“We have picked 8 facilities in 4 regions.  We are basically covering high prevalence regions.  So we could have HIV prevalence as high as 15 percent in some of the regions,” he says.

He says the program builds on earlier efforts to ensure injection safety, which includes proper methods of using hypodermic needles and disposing of them safely.  Safe blood collection also includes the quality of the specimen.  He says, “If you don’t get a correct sample…you probably mismanage the patient as well.”

Initially, 20 Kenyan health care workers at the 8 clinics will be trained by BD.  They in turn will train others.

BD says the goal is to “ultimately train thousands of health care workers in developing countries.”  The firm, based in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, describes itself as one of PEPFAR’s “strongest collaborators.”

BD says it’s also underwriting the construction of two incinerators in Kenya that will be used to safely dispose of used blood-related devices.

You May Like

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More