Over 30,000 adolescents in Kisumu, Homa Bay, and Nyamira counties have gained from a partnership between Zipline and the Elton John AIDS Foundation [EJAF], which began earlier this year. This is as per Caleb Wanjala, Zipline’s Technical Lead for Global Health, at the World AIDS Day celebrations in Homa Bay County. Wanjala highlighted that the collaboration aimed to improve adolescents’ access to sexual and reproductive health [SRH] services by delivering these services in a more decentralized manner.
This innovative initiative by EJAF and Zipline has successfully reached approximately 32,000 young people. The strategy involves collaborating with local organizations to engage adolescents in health-related activities. A notable aspect is the incorporation of mobile clinical services in various counties like Kisumu, Homa Bay, and Nyamira. Zipline supports this by supplying essential SRH commodities, including family planning resources, HIV testing kits, PrEP, ARVs, etc., via its rapid logistics system. Such initiatives help decentralize SRH services and reduce the stigma associated with HIV.
Western Kenya, which has a long history of HIV response efforts, has seen extensive community-level health education. However, there is a gap in young people taking action for their health, especially when it involves visiting health facilities. By providing integrated SRH care directly within communities, these barriers to health access can be addressed more effectively.
Dr. Kevin Osuri, Homa Bay County’s Chief Officer for Health, emphasized the importance of such partnerships in combating HIV/AIDS. He mentioned the impressive support from Zipline and EJAF, which has contributed to a decline in HIV infection rates in the county from 17% in 2021 to 15% in 2022. A full memorandum of understanding [MoU] is expected to be signed with these partners, acknowledging their significant contribution to HIV-related activities in the area.
Zipline is also enhancing access to health care by delivering self-test kits, contraceptives, and medication to local, easily accessible, and private collection points. This decentralized care model empowers young people by offering them more choices and aims to significantly reduce HIV transmission among this demographic.