Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Two HIV-positive girls are languishing at the Ijara District Hospital after they were disowned by their community. The girls, aged six and nine, have survived on the hospital’s meagre provisions for the past year and it seems no one is coming to their rescue.

According to MOH Mohamed Sheikh Abdi, the girls were taken to hospital in June last year by a chief who rescued them from a hut, where they had been abandoned by their father, after their mother died of the disease.

Civic society groups in the district, led by former Ijara County Council Chairman Dubat Amey, blamed local NGOs’ and community organisations for failing in the fight against the scourge, irrespective of the millions of shillings they claim to have spent on awareness campaigns.

"The girls faced a difficult time among the local community. People avoided and sometimes ran away from them, thinking the disease can be transmitted through contact," said Dr Abdi. He said although the girls were well cared for at the hospital and were responding well to ARV drugs, they were missing out on education.