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BY BHESP TEAM.

24TH APRIL 2021. Wherever the truth lies in the ARVs shortage situation in Kenya is something that still remains a mystery, but what everyone knows so far is that the essential commodity is yet to reach its intended recipients, people living with HIV.

Jennifer Gacheru is a clinical officer and the site in charge at Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support programme (BHESP) Roysambu clinic. She has approximately 500 active HIV patients that visit her facility to get life-saving drugs. BHESP as an organization has three different clinics in Nairobi catering for approximately 3,200 HIV positive patients most of whom are sex workers. The last few weeks have been agonizing for Jennifer and her team.

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50-year-old Jane Wamboi is a single mother and has been employed as a bar hostess since she was eighteen. Jane’s work has seen her work in different bars and entertainment joints in Nairobi, rising to become a bar manager in her last place of work before she was laid off due to the closure of the facility as a result of a government directive to contain the spread of coronavirus. It is through this bar business that she has put her two sons aged 22 and 25 through school.

Prior to Covid, Jane was living in a two-bedroomed house but she has since moved to a single room, an involuntary move that has deprived her of the comfort and privacy that she once enjoyed. Her near-empty room is where she cooks using her kerosene stove and where she sleeps with her two grown boys. She explains that she has sold her TV set, music system, gas cooker, and most of her cutlery at a throw-away price in order to pay her rent and buy foodstuff. 

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Mirema Stone Groove

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