September 15, 2014 -
The Kenyan government will enforce a new rule starting in January that makes it mandatory for all HIV/AIDS patients living in Homa Bay and Mombasa counties to undergo biometric registration, according to The Star.
Martin Sirengo, head of National Aids and STI Control Program, said the program will be expanded to other counties in March.
The project’s concept note has been completed and the Ministry of Health is now working towards implementing the program, sad Sirengo.
Those patients who are currently taking antiretroviral drugs and are registered with the ministry will be directed to health centers around the country for biometric registration.
The government will start with Homa Bay because it has the largest number of people living with the virus, based on current statistics.
“Mombasa has the highest risk of people acquiring the virus because of the high number of commercial sex workers and those injecting drugs,” Sirengo said.
Starting next year, any individual who tests positive for HIV will be biometrically registered, said Sirengo.
In addition, the database storing all the patients’ records will be synchronized, which will help link the HIV positive patients to healthcare centers.
“Unique patient identification is key to patient retention and biometric technology can provide a mechanism to uniquely verify individual’s identity over a period of time,” said Sirengo, adding that the biometric identification will help spot attempted double registration, link health outcomes to patients and boost the overall quality of health care services to the patients.