University Health Services (UHS) today Thursday19th October held a Sensitization workshop for members of the Construction and Maintenance Department. The one day training was on HIV/AIDS, Alcohol &Drug Abuse Prevention.
Catherine Amalunda a Clinical Psychologist took the members through alcohol and drug abuse. Catherine noted that the problem of drug abuse in the workplace has become a major concern in the institution with alcohol being the most abused drug. Over 33% of people in the workplace abuse drugs and 8%are cigarette smokers. She also noted that in the long run most of these alcohol abusers stop showing up for work because they have hangovers or they report to work under the influence. She urged the abusers not to be in denial and seek counseling and rehabilitation.
On his part, Dr. Ambayo sensitized members on HIV and Opportunistic Infections. He urged members to get tested so that they can get to know their status. He also urged the members especially the pregnant women to get tested in order to protect the unborn child. Dr. Ambayo also noted that globally about 36.7 million people were living with HIV in 2015 which means that about 5700 people get infected daily. In Kenya, 1.6 million people are infected out of 45million people with Homabay taking the lead of 150,000 people being infected. Dr. Ambayo reminded members that the ARV drugs are available at UHS. He concluded by noting that the most powerful tool for HIV/AIDS prevention is HIV test and counseling.
Emmy Sumbeiywo a psychologist at UHS talked to the members about behavior change. She said ‘our behavior influences our health’. HIV is a result of human behavior. She urged members to change for the better and to accept change when it’s positive. Positive change helps in service delivery in the workplace. Emmy also sensitized members on how to prevent HIV by using clean needles, being faithful to one partner among others.
The first case of HIV in UON was discovered in 1987.
The members were urged not to discriminate those affected and infected with HIV instead they should encourage persons living with HIV to seek treatment at the University Health Services or wherever they feel more comfortable to seek treatment. Emma reminded the members that the University does not discriminate against students and staff living with HIV.
The training also included talks on Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision (VMMC). Male circumcision reduces the prevalence of HIV by 60% and the Human Papilloma Virus. UHS provides education and sensitization on voluntary male circumcision which can be carried out at the UHS Theatre free of charge.
The training took place at the Central Catering Unit (CCU) from 8.a.m