KENYA—The Ministry of Health in Kenya has launched a comprehensive Commitment Plan aimed at tackling the ‘Triple Threat’ of new HIV infections, gender-based violence (GBV), and teen pregnancy by 2027.

This initiative was unveiled during the Women Leadership Summit in Bungoma on February 25, 2024, chaired by Health Cabinet Secretary Nakhumicha S. Wafula.

Data presented by NSDCC CEO Ruth Laibon-Masha at the 14th Kemri Annual Scientific and Health Conference on February 16, 2024, highlighted that adolescents accounted for 17% of prenatal clinic clients in 2023.

Furthermore, the National Syndemic Disease Control Council (NSDCC) reported 254,753 pregnancies among teenagers aged 10 to 19 in 2023, with 12,966 pregnancies occurring among those aged 10 to 14 and 241,757 among those aged 15 to 19.

The NSDCC also identified sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) and adolescent pregnancy as indicators of increased HIV infection risk.

Health Cabinet Secretary Nakhumicha revealed that 254,000 expectant girls visited clinics in 2023 for family planning and antenatal care (ANC).

Additionally, 15 Kenyan counties reported that 15% of antenatal care clinic attendees were teenagers aged 10–19, with an alarming 18% rate of gender-based violence cases against children and adolescents in these counties.

The CS emphasized the rise in gender-based violence cases and its severe consequences, including sexual violence, child motherhood, and long-term psychological and physical challenges.

These issues, alongside the health outcomes of babies born to young mothers, strain the nation’s health and economic resources.

In response, the government aims to equip technical personnel and administrative officers with the necessary skills and information to address these pressing issues effectively.

 CS Nakhumicha stressed that the Commitment Plan is crucial for empowering adolescents and young people while safeguarding them from inequalities and health risks.

She also emphasized the use of technology, intending to collaborate with the ICT counterpart, Eliud Owalo, to develop means of recording perpetrators of sexual abuse.

The NSDCC emphasized the urgency of addressing the ‘Triple Threat,’ citing its detrimental impact on efforts to end the HIV pandemic in Kenya.

Kenya’s commitments under the ICPD25 include enhancing the health standards of adolescents and youth by comprehensively addressing these challenges.

Through collective action and unwavering commitment, Kenya aims to create a healthier, safer, and more empowered future for all.

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