Report: Seminar on People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kitale (Rift Valley, Kenya)


Under the de-centralization in sub-Saharan African countries, more and more people pays attention to the significance of the roles for each community and the initiative of rural societies.  To seek such theme, high priority should be put not only on streamlization of administration but also on sensitization of the people through scientific knowledge in grassroots level. Moreover, we should find a positive role of regional universities.  Kitale is the agricultural based town, which has an approximate population of 200,000 while Nairobi stands at approximate 3,138,500.  NEPHAK held workshop on people living with HIV/AIDS for sensitization of local communities as one of initial trials of this theme.  Mr. Gabriel Ekalale  (JSPS Nairobi administrative assistant), a believer and an activist on this theme attended the workshop.  In addition, he visited Kitale Campus of Moi University, one of the most prominent regional universities in this country. 

Theme: Living with HIV/AIDS in the Societies
Host: National Aids Control Council and National Empowerment of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK)
Date: 29th March 2012
Venue: Vision Hotel (in Kitale)


On 29th March 2012, I attended a seminar jointly organized by National Aids Control Council and National Empowerment of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK) at Vision Hotel in Kitale.  There were about thirty participants comprising people living with HIV/AIDS and other stakeholders from West Pokot and Turkana County respectively.  I attended this seminar as a Board member of NEPHAK-Turkana County Representative.

The theme of the seminar was “GIPA”.  GIPA stands for the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS coming directly from the text of the Declaration.  The text suggests an initiative to strengthen the capacity of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA), networks of PLHA and community based organizations to participate fully at all — national, regional and global — levels, in particular stimulating the creation of supportive political, legal and social environments.

UNAIDS has broadened GIPA to include those most directly affected by the epidemic.  This is done with the understanding that no one can speak for a person living with HIV except a person living with HIV.  Nor can anyone speak for the bereaved widow or orphan of someone lost to AIDS, except someone with that experience.

This seminar was meant to explore ways in which GIPA can be achieved through direct involvement of PLHA in public and private sector activities both at local and national.

(Photo)Mrs. Kauthar Bitok explaining GIPA to participants.

On 30th March 2012, JSPS made a courtesy call to Moi University Kitale Campus which is situated 5 km from Kitale town along Kitale-Kapenguria road.  According to Oliver Sindabi (PhD) who is the Dean of students and Bob Odhiambo the lecturer, the institution is registering a good number of students though the facilities are inadequate .They hope the institution will be able to acquire agricultural research equipment in the coming years through collaboration with other  institutions. The campus has three major departments i.e. Education, Agriculture and Resource Management. Plans are on the way for expansion to meet the market demand.

Mr. Oliver Sindabi is a PhD candidate his area of specialization “The Role of University Education and in Fostering National Values amongst the Youth: Comparative Study of Public and Private Universities in Kenya”. He looks forward for collaborations in future.  We issued  9 fellowships for Research in Japan 2011-pamplets, 6 JSPS brochures, 1quartely and 1 EA JSPS Alumni annual report.

Gabriel Ekalale
Administrative Assistant, JSPS Nairobi

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