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A Red ribbon, Hunger and Anger

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  • Kennedy Owino
    Dear friends, Today, the whole world join hearts, minds and hands to commemorate the Global world Aids day. Most Kenyans, me included are keen not to be left
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2008
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      Dear friends,

      Today, the whole world join hearts, minds and hands to commemorate the Global world Aids day.
      Most Kenyans, me included are keen not to be left out today, we don our red ribbons (a global symbol of unity to fight H.I.V / AIDS)  pinned across our chests.
      However, poor Kenyans and slum dwellers who are adversely affected by the greatest health challenge- H.I.V/AIDS- continue to embattle the castrastophe but our hopes are soon diminishing and being replaced by tears.
      Our Glutton, Mosquito legislators  had taken to suck from the poor by uninanimously joining hands not to have their Gigantic salaries taxed, not doing anything on the rising inflation , rising food prices, declining rations on shelf stores, and not reducing prices on vital commodities and services like fuel.
      They have now taken to overseeing and managing the use of the AIDS fund.
      They have secluded  Community Based Organisations, N.G.O's and P.L.W.A's (People living with Aids in Kenya)
      We doubt wether the funds will be expedited and disbursed or used in an appropriate manner.

      The poor commemorate the day with slowly dying hopeless hearts,anguish, Hunger pangs, and Anger at the greedy ways of our leaders.
      The poor people living with the virus can't afford vital medicines and a good diet and have resolved to traditional treatment.
      I reckon without good diet, the side effects of A.R.V's are very harsh.
      They can only afford cheap meals of "matumbo" (tripe) and Ugali (a staple maize flour Kenyan meal which many poor Kenyans can't afford now) before taking A.R.V's.
      A packet of maize flour has risen way above the dollar (most poor Kenyans live on less than a dollar a day).
      Ridiculously, at a cost of Ksh 120 up from Ksh 75, most Kenyans with their meager income can't daily afford to feed their families on this vital food commodity while a Kenyan legislator can afford to buy it for more than thirty years with just his/her untaxed monthly salary.
      With this harsh realities several H.I.V slum dwellers turn to herbalists for cocktail of herbs believed to be effective in prolonging lives.

      These are issues that we Kenyans have to push our Members of Parliament (care takers of the economy and the AIDS fund) to sort.
      Another sad issue derailing our fight against the wide spread of AIDS is the AIDS prejudice.
      Stigma continues to prevent the affected from coming out to publicly declare their status and be in the front line in helping to contain the pandemic.
      It is a double tragedy to the physically challenged persons living with the virus.
      On one side, they are biased against in social matters as securing a job, the other side of the coin, the society stigmatise them because of their H.I.V status.

      Let us embrace one another in thought and heart to come up with ideas, and action oriented initiatives that can help combat the spread of AIDS.
      Let us raise our voices against odds and actions that hinder the fight.

      "Alunta continua"

      Ken Owino
      Nafsi Africa Acrobats


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