HIV/AIDS pandemic is now a global crisis that constitutes one of the most formidable challenges to development and social progress. The pandemic stands out as one of the key challenges to development in Kenya.
The deep ravages of the pandemic continue to erode decades of development gains, undermining economies, threatening security and destabilizing society.
The illness and subsequent deaths of workers resulting from HIV and AIDS has enormous impact on the national productivity and earnings. Labour productivity drops, the benefits of education are lost and resources that would have been used for wealth creation and poverty reduction are diverted to treatment, care and support.
It is against the above background that the Government of Kenya declared the pandemic a national disaster and came up with an elaborate national response implementation framework that subsequently led to the birth of AIDS Control Units (ACUs).
Role of ACUs
ACUs have been constituted in Government Ministries, Parastatals, Local Authorities and SAGAs to undertake the following duties and responsibilities.
1. To promote behaviour change to ensure that issues of HIV/AIDS are at the center of all decision making
2. To identify and plan the changes needed to develop action plans to achieve desired behaviour and attitude changes to prevent further spread of HIV/AIDS
3. To understand changes required in budgeting cycles, gain an understanding of the issues and provide information that will be useful foe the purposes of planning and budgeting for HIV/AIDS activities
4. To ensure HIV/AIDS policies are implemented within the specific sectors. This involves awareness creation and undertaking intra-sectoral advocacy of HIV/AIDS issues.
5. To develop and adopt guidelines appropriate to the Ministry for the interpretation, itemization and utilization of resources allocated for HIV/AIDS activities
6. To develop a database on what is happening in the sector
7. To assist in the development of clear operational objectives
8. To network with staff in other ACUs as well as with NACC to maximize the transfer of the best practices and pitfalls be avoided
9. To monitor the implementation of HIV/AIDS activities and give guidance at all levels
Some of The Activities That Have Been Undertaken By The Ministry of Finance ACU/Available Services
1. Establishment of a Resource Centre - The ACU secretariat is continuously equipping the resource center so as to make it a useful point of reference on HIV/AIDS matters.
2. Conducting of video shows/talk on HIV/AIDS
3. Mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS into all Departments through establishment of Sub-ACUs
4. Awareness creation through Behaviour Change Communication forums
5. Collection of HIV/AIDS policy documents and also Information Education and Communication materials in conjunction with the NACC and NASCOP
6. Interaction and sharing of ideas with organizations involved in HIV/AIDS control related issues.
7. Capacity Building for Departmental representatives to the Ministerial AIDS Control Committee
8. Training of peer educators and peer counselors on HIV/AIDS
9. Distribution of HIV/AIDS prevention material e.g. condoms to members of staff
Contacts (and for more information)
The ACU Resource Center is located at Treasury Building, 8th floor, room number 822