An Aids-awareness mural in Vosloorus township, south of Johannesburg. (Image: Chris KirchhoffMediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library.) The provinces of Kenya MEDIA CONTACTS • The Kenya Aids NGOs Consortium [email protected] • Nyanza Reproductive Health Society [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES • HIV in SA improving slowly • Ridding Africa of HIV in 10 yearsThe government of Kenya is expanding services to meet the growing demand for voluntary medical male circumcision after the launch of a national campaign a year ago.Results of three random trials in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda in 2005 and 2006 demonstrated that circumcision reduced the risk of HIV infection among men by up to 60%.“We believe the launch of a rapid results initiative to scale up what we are already offering will help meet the demand,” said Jackson Kioko, director of medical services in Nyanza province. “Our target is an ambitious one to see to it that at least 1.1-million of the uncircumcised men in this country get the cut by the end of five years.”According to the Kenya Aids Indicator Survey 2007 (PDF, 2.8 MB), 85% of men in the East African country are circumcised. HIV prevalence is three to five times higher in uncircumcised men.There are about 1.2-million uncircumcised men between the ages of 15 and 49 in Kenya. Most of these are in Nyanza, in the west of the country, where fewer than 50% of men are circumcised.Since the launch of the national campaign in November 2008, an estimated 40 000 men have been circumcised and 124 sites opened and equipped with facilities and personnel to offer the service. The government has trained 700 health workers in the province to offer the services in various health facilities.“The trained health workers will ensure people who demand these services get them in a safe and timely manner and the training of others is ongoing across the various provinces within the country,” Kioko said.The government also plans to roll out mobile medical circumcision. “We do not want people to opt out simply because the services are not near them and we are making arrangements that we go to them rather than them coming to us,” Kioko said.“We will, in the near future, offer infant medical circumcision; this has the potential to help people in time before their sexual debut.”Not the total solutionBut experts stress that male circumcision must not be viewed as a complete prevention tool. “It is refreshing to see that research is being put to use,” said Kawango Agot, head of the Nyanza Reproductive Health Society.“But we should take precautions to ensure that we constantly give information that male circumcision must work along with other HIV infection prevention strategies to be effective.“We have plans to launch a study to look into the sexual behaviours of men who have been circumcised to find out if they are engaging in risky behaviours due to the fact that they have been circumcised,” she added. “We hope this will ascertain if indeed people are engaging in [risky sex].”A 2007 study in Kisumu, provincial capital of Nyanza, found that circumcision did not result in more risky behaviour. Nonetheless, it found that as male circumcision became more widely promoted, there would be a need to monitor “risk compensation” associated with the procedure.Source: Irin PlusNews
40 per cent of the teachers at the secondary level are unqualified mathematics teachers Story Highlights Behind targets for Mathematics established in the National Education Strategic Plan An intensified Mathematics programme will be implemented to address the continued poor performance in the subject Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has announced that come the start of the new academic year in September, an intensified Mathematics programme will be implemented to address the continued poor performance in the subject.“The central objective of the programme is to ensure that persons engaging our children in the teaching and learning of the content are most effective,” the Minister said.Rev. Thwaites was delivering the keynote address at the Ministry of Education, Region 4 Stakeholders’ Back-to-School Conference 2013, at the Grand Palladium Hotel and Resort in Lucea, Hanover, on August 15.The Minister indicated that in the Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) examination results which were released earlier this week, there was an increase in passes in some 25 of 35 subject areas.“There has been nearly a 5 per cent increase in Mathematics passes over last year’s outcome, which indicates that 42.2 per cent of candidates who took the exam passed. This means that 1,100 more students passed than last year. The Ministry is however, not satisfied with the outcomes relating to these passes in Mathematics as well as similar results in English, as they are both important for economic growth and development,” the Minister said.He said Jamaica has much ground to cover, if the country is to attain the targets for Mathematics established in the National Education Strategic Plan, which outlines 85 per cent mastery at Grade 4; 80 per cent of students attaining 65 per cent or more in Mathematics on the Grade 6 Achievement Test and 100 per cent of the Grade 11 cohort sitting CSEC Mathematics by 2016.“We are behind in these targets and our students continue to register poor performance in Mathematics due to several factors. A significant cause is that many teachers at the primary and secondary levels of the education system are not fully equipped to effectively support the teaching and learning of the subject,” Rev. Thwaites said.“The results of the 2011 Ministry of Education census showed that only 9 per cent of teachers of mathematics at the secondary level are qualified to teach the subject to Grade 11, while some 40 per cent of the teachers at the secondary level are unqualified mathematics teachers, as they are trained in other areas of specialization; and 39 per cent of teachers at the primary level have no secondary mathematics certification,” the Minister noted.Rev. Thwaites said the National Mathematics Policy Guidelines, scheduled to be implemented in September, is central to the Ministry’s response to the critical status of Mathematics in Jamaica.More than 300 Principals and Board Chairmen attended the Back-to- School Conference, which was held under the theme: ‘Leadership with a mission: Developing a culture of performance’.