Activity Report Kenya 2008

International staff: 6, Local staff: 55
Infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, mother and child care


Kenya belongs to low-income countries and suffers food shortages. Its GDP is 1 242 USD per person (the World Bank data, 2007). On UNDP Human Development Index scale Kenya ranks 148 out of 177.

According to latest estimates from 2007 the HIV population in Kenya is 1,5 to 2 million people, a number that represents almost 5% of the population. Out of this number 130 to 180 000 are children less than 14 years of age and 800 000 to 1,1 million are women in reproductive age over 15. Women represent as many as 60 % of the infected adult population in the age of 15 years and older.

The HIV/AIDS prevalence in the adult population (from 15 to 49 years of age) is 8-10%. The southeast province Nyanza where Magna is present has the highest prevalence rates after Nairobi, where women represent 2/3 of all infected adults. Directly in the district of Kombewa where Magna works with its partner district hospital the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is at 7,8%. High prevalence numbers are related to the fact that the Nyanza province has been historically marginalized on political and economical grounds and further impoverished during the latest political turmoil of the Red Khmer dominance. Out of approximately 1,2 million newborn children 9% of their mothers have been infected by HIV/AIDS which by estimates translates into more then 100 000 children exposed to HIV virus upon birth. At the accepted rate of mother-to-child transmission to be at 40%, about 40.000 newborn children have been born HIV positive.

The situation is further complicated by the fact, that the majority of the Kenya’s population (as much as 83%) does not know their HIV status.

High food prices take their toll on the everyday life of the Kenyans. It is estimated that 5,6 million people in Kenya has met with the uncertainty of providing for daily bread, a fact which is directly linked to the food prices and rising prices of fuel. In order to manage the increases in prices people have been forced to lower their daily intake of food or buy cheaper and more accessible products. The number of cases of malnutrition is in many parts of the country critical. In some districts of Kenya as much as one fourth of the children population suffers from acute malnutrition.

On the onset of 2008 the protests in Kenya turned into long lasting ethnical conflicts that have been followed by hotly debated presidential elections. The violence drew Magna to immediately react to the existing crises by transporting aid to the most affected regions. Only in first several weeks Magna has provided food to almost 7 000 inhabitants of the poor city parts of Kisumu.

The base for Magna’s operations in Kenya is the district hospital of Kombewa together with the health centre of Nyahera in the Nyanza province. In these health facilities Magna assists with technical support and comprehensive medical and social care for mothers and children. The main focus of Magna activities in Kenya is to help prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, provide pediatric HIV/AIDS related care including treatment of malnourished children and women.

In 2008 Magna assisted with 3.664 prenatal examinations to include 1.512 women who underwent counseling in regards to testing and HIV transmission prevention.

In the PMTCT program 1.335 tested on their HIV status, and all together 596 HIV positive women were monitored during 2008. From the beginning of the program in 2007 eight hundred forty seven women were enrolled and 399 children were born.

For these women and children our project secures prenatal, natal and postnatal care with the aim of preventing HIV virus transmission from the mother onto her newborn child. Further Magna monitors the exposed newborn babies in its so called “exposed program” for children born to HIV positive mothers. In 2008 there were 500 children in the program to whom Magna has provided doctor, social and nutritional care. 

Magna also assisted with providing medical assistance to 3.410 HIV positive patients out of which 275 were children. Nutritional counseling and food support has been regularly given to 390 HIV/AIDS patients and 2 354 individual counseling session have been carried out.

Magna strongly accentuates patients’ home based care by means of field worker home visits, who in the year of 2008 performed 10.236 such visits.

MAGNA is present in Kenya since 2006.

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