Major shift in HIV war as Kenyans now top users of prevention pillAbout 54,000 Kenyans are using the daily HIV prevention pill today up from 9,000 a year ago. Swaziland (Eswatini) which has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, 27 per cent, has 2,300 PrEP users. Botswana with a prevalence rate of 22 per cent has only 100 PrEP users. The estimates however do not indicate whether these are consistent or just one off users of the daily prevention pill. Earlier last year another study, which also involved the Ministry of Health showed exaggerated HIV prevalence rates in parts of Western Kenya.
Lately, the plebiscite campaigns have taken root, especially after the surprise handshake between erstwhile political antagonists, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga last year. The proponents of a referendum say law changes will remedy the ills facing the nation such as unequal distribution of wealth and winner takes all model. All in all, referendum campaigns are misinformed and very insensitive given the state of the nation. Therefore, conversations about the need to change the Constitution are insensitive and convey how detached the political class in Kenya is. A referendum is misplaced and extremely insensitive when all factors are considered.
February 22, 2019 21:00 UTC
Alarm over disease outbreaks in counties amid biting strikeNurses from Nakuru County demonstrate on February 18. Between January 21 and February 11, Kenya reported 716 cases of cholera to the WHO, mainly in Nairobi, Narok and Kajiado counties. For example, while Kenya reported 716 cholera cases, in the current bulletin, Tanzania reported just 47 cases, and Uganda 53. While Kenya reported 325 cases of dengue fever, Tanzania reported 38 and none were reported in Uganda. Kenya reported 335 cases of measles, Ethiopia 136 and South Sudan reported 368 cases.
Why Kenya is yet to achieve 100 per cent immunisation targetStaff shortage and poor vaccination schedules are some of the reasons Kenya is yet to attain 100 per cent vaccination target.The situation could be made worse with the ongoing nurses strike, which in 2017 had the immunisation level drop to 63 percent due to a protracted five-month boycott. This was from 69 per cent in 2016, as reported by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) 2018 Economic Survey report. Despite the 80 per cent attained immunisation targets, Aman said some counties are still lagging behind in coverage. The government blamed this on poor distribution networks by the counties, which had some facilities with surplus while others had none. “Ensure no user fees are charged on immunisation services in public, private and faith-based health facilities that are supported by the government to offer immunisation services,” he said.
Kenya needs to tone down on its maritime dispute with Somalia. On Thursday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma told journalists:“We will not cede an inch of Kenyan territory to any government". She further noted that there could be sanctions against Somalia depending on the kind of response the country gives and or fails to apologise. And although Kenya opposed ICJ’s jurisdiction over the matter — preferring diplomatic and political settlements as agreed in 2009 — Somalia won the first round and the case is now before the court. It is imperative that Kenya lets ICJ hear and determine the matter.
February 22, 2019 21:00 UTC
Kori now a free man as police mum on probeJoseph Kori Karue was released from custody at Gigiri Police Station. Joseph Kori Karue was released from custody at Gigiri Police Station where he was being held. Police were however tight-lipped about his release, with investigating officer John Wahome only confirming he had been released. She said that as a family, they were happy with Kori’s release since it was evident that he was not involved in the murder of her sister. According to police sources, forensic analysis of Kori’s phone, as well as witness statements, exonerated him from the murder claim.
Nurses’ fate in limbo as union sustains pay pushKNUN General Secretary Seth Panyako. “As per the court order, they (nurses) should be back to work. I have already informed counties of the court order, so if they disobey, what I am supposed to do?” posed Panyako. We can disband the union and they pay us as state officers and we will not agitate anymore for pay,” said Panyako. Nurses are agitating for Sh10,000 more in nursing service allowance and Sh15,000 more in uniform allowance.
Agency seeks legal changes to hasten disposal of State firmsJoseph Koskey(Left) Executive Director CEO The Privatization Commission with Paul Otuoma(Right) chairman The Privatization Commission during an update on the privatization process. PHOTO:WILBERFORCE OKWIRIHands tied: Privatisation Commission has only concluded one deal since inceptionAgency seeks legal changes to hasten disposal of State firms Lengthy processes delaying Government exit with the risk of low returns. A review of the legal framework on privatisation of State firms is expected to clear some of the major hurdles that have held back sale of Government stake in the companies. The Privatisation Commission has cited the lengthy process required by the Privatisation Act in disposing of Government shareholding in the firms as a key challenge to executing its mandate. “Much as it (the lengthy approval process) is good to ensure transparency, it also holds back the privatisation process,” said the commission’s chief executive, Joseph Koskey.
Probe into Sh91b dams saga kicks off in RomePresident Uhuru Kenyatta chairs a Cabinet meeting at State House, Nairobi, on August 14, 2018. CMC Di Ravenna was contracted to build the Arror, Kimwarer and Itare Dam in the Rift Valley, before it filed for bankruptcy last December. In the case of the dams, CMC Di Ravenna was also allowed to seek funding for the projects. In the case of the dams, CMC Di Ravena secured funding from Chinese lenders BNP Paribas and Intesa San Paolo. CMC Di Ravena officials in Nairobi have also recorded statements and from Monday next week it will be the turn of other Cabinet secretaries adversely mentioned.
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and Kisii University sign training dealThe Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and Kisii University have signed a memorandum of understanding to introduce a Human Rights unit in the School of Law. Vice Chancellor Professor John Akama said the unit will equip students with knowledge on human rights, with the institution set to create a centre for human rights for students to research on several aspects. Kisii University is willing to empower the community around it with skills on human rights so that they can know their constitutional rights as part of its corporate social responsibility,” said Prof Akama. Mr Mogesa said the memorandum with the university will heighten the exchange of knowledge and skills on human rights where they will jointly fund research on human rights related issues and promote its activities. The CEO said the commission has launched human rights programmes in several higher institutions of learning to equip students with skills to handle human rights issues in societies around them effectively.
Jobs: HR firm launches with eye on SMEsA new human resource consulting firm is aiming to create jobs for the youth by developing entrepreneurial mindsets. Rise and Learn seeks to achieve this by delivering practical, relevant and agile learning programmes. Speaking during the official launch, the firm’s director Emily Kamunde-Osoro, said Kenya must harness the creativity, dynamism and energy of the youth to create job opportunities. SEE ALSO :Give me back my job, says worker fired 27 years ago"The unemployment levels in my country keep me awake at night, but the possibility of creating one extra job wakes me up in the morning,” she said. Rise and Learn provides services, including corporate training and human resource outsourcing for small firms.
Cane farmers protest want Sh2.7 billion listed beneficiaries publishedChairman Kenya Sugarcane and allied products Saul Busolo (Center) with Kenya Sugarcane Growers Association Secretary General Richard Ogendo ((left) while adresing the press in Kisumu on February 22nd 2019. (Collins Oduor, Standard)Farmers’ plea over Sh2.7b arrearsCane farmers want all state owned sugar factories to publish names of all farmers listed for payment of Sh2.7 billion arrears owed to them. The calls were also backed by leaders of Kenya Sugarcane and Allied Products Union and the Kenya Sugarcane Growers Association, Charles Atyang and Richard Ogendo, respectively. Not genuine Kenya Sugarcane and Allied Products Union Secretary General Peter Kasamula sparked the debate, saying some farmers on the list were not genuine. We don’t want a computer generated list of ghost farmers,” Kasamula said.
The judges observed that it was true the girl’s parents were caught off-guard and have to provide until she is of majority age. They however asserted that the minor’s parents ought to soldier on as there were those mourning for silent wombs and impotency. We are persuaded that the award of raising the child was not justified,” the judges ruled. The hospital owned up to the blunder, but opposed the upkeep amount saying parents were happy to have a third child after all. “The primary reason why this appeal has been filed by the appellant (hospital) is to challenge the award of damages to the respondent,” Aga Khan Hospital argued.
Electricity sales went up to Sh56.9 billion compared to Sh46.9 billion in 2017. The company said the decline in profits was occasioned by increased spending on transmission of electricity to its over six million customers. SEE ALSO :Deep in debt Kenya Power is at mercy of BanksTransmission and distribution costs went up by a third, while finance costs rose by 23.5 per cent, eating into revenues. During the period, Kenya Power made a Sh2.5 billion provision for bad debts, further eating into its earnings. SEE ALSO :Kenya Power suspends payment of bills through Posta KenyaThe amount of money paid to thermal power generating companies fell by half during the six months to Sh6.9 billion compared to Sh12.3 billion the previous year.
Commission for University Education (CUE), Higher Education Loans Board (Helb), Universities Funding Board (UFB) and Kenya Universities and Colleges Placement Service (KUCCPS) officials were present. Under the old formula, the government committed to pay Sh70,000, with students’ fees pegged at Sh16,000 per year. Prior to the conference, Saturday Standard established that public universities VCs held two meetings – one last Sunday and another on Thursday – when fees increment was extensively discussed. “University students have been paying Sh16,000 for the last 30 years, yet even TVET students studying diploma pay Sh26,000. Council for Legal Education charges Sh2.1 million for various accreditation to institutions that teach law while the National Industrial Training Authority levies Sh50 for each employee every month.