Kenya is currently among the countries with the highest rates of HIV transmission rates, with 1.5 million known instances of HIV (Avert, 2016). Despite the steady progress in the field, achieved primarily via dynamic development of the healthcare infrastructure in the country, the latest mortality rates are estimated at 36,000 deaths in 2015 (Avert, 2016). These numbers are still significant enough to make an HIV impact visible in social, political, and economic spheres of life. Consequently, a number of stakeholders can be identified in the field, including people with HIV or in high-risk groups, communities, health care workers, Kenyan government, community-based organizations, and private organizations such as local businesses and employers. In addition, academic entities, international medical organizations, funding bodies, and drug supply and control organizations involved in an effort of addressing the issue are considered stakeholders.
Some of the stakeholders are already heavily involved in the joint effort to address the issue, which makes them good candidates for partnership. Most notably, health care infrastructure was scaled up significantly in the region, with a twofold increase of healthcare units and staff from 1996 to 2006 (Avert, 2016). Such progress was made possible through the creation of joint team which included World Health Organization, UNAIDS, United Nations Population Fund, and supported by the governments of other countries such as the US (Ministry of Health, 2014). All of these organizations are well-funded and specialize in the selected issue which makes them excellent allies in reducing transmission rates. However, it should be acknowledged that most of them are large-scale entities that are involved in similar proceedings in many countries across the world. Thus, the possibility of cooperation can be seriously limited by this factor. In this regard, Kenyan governmental organizations present a much more viable partnership opportunity. For instance, National AIDS control council (NACC) provides coordination over the actions of various stakeholders involved in HIV/AIDS response on the national level (Ministry of Health, 2014).
Another aspect which requires further inquiry and can benefit from advocacy is the concentrated nature of the epidemics. A number of studies suggest that HIV transmission is not uniform, with certain populations being at higher risk of exposure (Avert, 2016). Importantly, the reasons behind high vulnerability are not covered entirely by healthcare upscaling and include poor education, lack of relevant knowledge, and culturally or socially determined behavioral patterns. Therefore, it would be beneficial to seek partnership with organizations which can provide solutions in the respective fields. LVCT Health, an indigenous Kenyan non-profit organization, researches the success of existing interventions and causes of increased vulnerability, which makes them a powerful ally required for identifying the overlooked important details in the issue (Ministry of Health, 2014). There is also an important behavioral aspect to the issue – according to Kenyan Ministry of Health (2014), women are more vulnerable to transmission because of a relatively young age of sexual debut and, more importantly, the tendency to have several (two or more) sexual partners. This tendency can be minimized by enhancing the existing educational programs and advocating for the creation of dedicated educational events. The former requires close collaboration with Kenyan school system and policymakers involved in curriculum development. The latter requires seeking partnerships with international and local organizations to create a program for HIV prevention. Therefore, EDUCAIDS and Kaiser Family Foundation are among those possessing relevant knowledge on the topic. Finally, the assessment of previous educational efforts revealed the reluctance of significant amount of population to support the advocacy for the use of condoms. Therefore, local community must be involved as an ally to facilitate cooperation and improve the outcome of the planned intervention.
Avert. (2016). HIV and AIDS in Kenya. Web.
Ministry of Health. (2014). Kenya HIV prevention revolution road map. Web.