Most-AT-Risk-Adolescents-(MARA)

Target population:  Adolescents both boys and Girls

Age: 10-19 Years

Supported BY : LVCT HEALTH

Implementation Area: Mombasa County

Kenya is one of the four HIV ‘high burdens’ countries in Africa – about 1.5 million people were living with HIV infection at the end of 2015. Women in Kenya are more vulnerable to HIV infections compared to Kenyan men, with the national HIV prevalence at 7.0 per cent for women and 4.7 per cent for men. Mombasa County has a population of 1,145,259, comprising of 593,411 males (52%) and 551,848 females (48%). Children below 15 years constitute 32% of the population, while youth aged 15-24 years constitute 22% of the population (2015 KNBS Population Projections).HIV prevalence in Mombasa is 1.2 times higher than the national prevalence at 7.5% (Kenya HIV Estimates 2015). The HIV prevalence among women in the county is higher (10.7%) than that of men (4.6%), indicating women are more vulnerable to HIV infection than men in the County. Mombasa County contributed to 3.6% of the total number of people living with HIV in Kenya, and is ranked the seventh nationally. By the end of 2015 a total of 54,310 people were living with HIV in the County, with 19% being young people aged 15-24 years and 7% being children under the age of 15 years as per the 2015 HIV Estimate report.

 

HIV and AIDS remains among the greatest public health concerns in Mombasa County. The epidemic has continued to cause deaths and suffering among residents, tearing the social and community fabric and decimating the workforce. Its effects are experienced in the entire spectrum of our County. HIV and AIDS are among the leading causes of deaths in Mombasa County. Mombasa County has reduced the HIV prevalence from 11.1% (KAIS 2012) to the current estimated 7.4% in 2014. This has been through scaling up of HIV prevention education, provision of HIV testing services and also ensured adult treatment coverage of over 60% for those in need of ARVs in accordance with the new treatment guidelines by the World Health Organization (WHO).

 

As in many parts of Mombasa  , young people  faces considerable challenges to their health and well-being as well as an uphill struggle to stay in school; find gainful employment; and negotiate relationships while postponing marriage and childbearing and avoiding sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Adolescent sexuality and reproductive health still remain highly charged moral issues, and this is compounded by the fact that in most cases, reproductive health services are not oriented towards adequately meeting their needs. It is on this background that we are currently implementing a twelve months project that seeks to increase and improve Sexual Reproductive Health knowledge and information to adolescents (10-19yrs) in order to reduce the HIV prevalence rates among the adolescents in Mombasa County.