Kenya Defence Forces Marks 31st Anniversary of World Aids Day

Assistant Chief of the Defence Forces (Personnel and Logistics) Major General Fatuma Ahmed makes her remarks during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.

Assistant Chief of the Defence Forces (Personnel and Logistics) Major General Fatuma Ahmed makes her remarks during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) joined the rest of the world in marking the 31st Anniversary of the World AIDS Day in an elaborate ceremony held at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in Nairobi on 1st December 2019. The event under the theme ‘Communities Making the Difference,’ was presided over by Assistant Chief of Defence Personnel and Logistics (ACDF P&L) Major General Fatuma Ahmed, who represented Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF) General Samson Mwathethe.

The day was marked by a procession around DHQ, entertainment from family members and chaplaincy, motivational talks, skits and speeches all aimed at sensitizing service personnel and their families on the HIV/AIDS scourge.

In a speech read on his behalf by the ACDF P&L, the CDF said the theme of the 2019 World AIDS Day is relevant to KDF as it goes in tandem with the Government’s HIV/AIDS strategic plan of accelerating treatment and support activities towards achieving epidemic control by 2030.

“Today, we unite with the international community to reignite the fight against HIV/AIDS, to show our support for people living with HIV/AIDS and solemnly remember our colleagues who have passed away or lost family members due to AIDS,” said the CDF.

General Mwathethe urged all KDF Commanders to lead the war towards achieving epidemic control by supporting and owning interventions geared towards minimizing new infections.

“Encourage all in your command, their dependants and the KDF fraternity to know their statutes, adhere to care, treatment and support guidelines and to prevent new infections by adopting evidence-based behavioural trends,” added General Mwathethe.

He further acknowledged the great assistance KDF continues to receive from the government, its ministries and agencies, as well as other partners.

“I wish to recognise our international partners who have assisted us over the years; in particular, the US Department of Defence, which through the United States Army Medical Research Department-Africa (USAMRD-A) remains a major collaborator in the KDF HIV/AIDS programme,” concluded the CDF.

On her part, the ACDF emphasised on the need for KDF to remain flexible as HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment strategies continue to evolve.

“KDF has been relentless in its mission to turn the HIV epidemics around and there were notable achievements to celebrate, noting that KDF HIV programme has made progress on the war against the virus,” said Major General Ahmed.

The Director of the USA Walter Reeds Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Lieutenant Colonel (Dr) John Distelhorst, recognized the partnership that KDF has had with his institute in training, prevention and guiding in regard to the HIV pandemic.

World AIDS Day is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

In attendance during the commemoration were: Chief of Personnel DHQ Brigadier Dixon Chivatsi, Commandant DHQ Camp Admin Unit Colonel Jacob Ondieki, among other Senior Officers, Officers, Service Members, Families of KDF Personnel and partners.

Director of the US Walter Reeds Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Lieutenant Colonel (Dr) John Distelhorst makes his remarks during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.Director of the US Walter Reeds Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Lieutenant Colonel (Dr) John Distelhorst makes his remarks during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.
Kenya Defence Forces personnel in a procession during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.Kenya Defence Forces personnel in a procession during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.
Children from KDF Catholic Fraternity entertain guests during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.Children from KDF Catholic Fraternity entertain guests during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.
Mr. Stanley Ngara from Liverpool Voluntary Counselling and Testing (LVCT) demonstrating the spread of HIV/AIDS to KDF Personnel during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.Mr. Stanley Ngara from Liverpool Voluntary Counselling and Testing (LVCT) demonstrating the spread of HIV/AIDS to KDF Personnel during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.
Assistant Chief of the Defence Forces (Personnel and Logistics) Major General Fatuma Ahmed, Director of the US Walter Reeds Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Lieutenant Colonel (Dr) John Distelhorst and the Commandant Defence Headquarters Camp Admin Unit Colonel Jacob Ondieki lead KDF personnel in a procession during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.Assistant Chief of the Defence Forces (Personnel and Logistics) Major General Fatuma Ahmed, Director of the US Walter Reeds Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Lieutenant Colonel (Dr) John Distelhorst and the Commandant Defence Headquarters Camp Admin Unit Colonel Jacob Ondieki lead KDF personnel in a procession during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.
Kenya Defence Personnel and their families follow proceedings during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.Kenya Defence Personnel and their families follow proceedings during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.
From right: Assistant Chief of the Defence Forces (Personnel and Logistics) Major General Fatuma Ahmed and other Senior Officers follow proceedings during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.Assistant Chief of the Defence Forces (Personnel and Logistics) Major General Fatuma Ahmed and other Senior Officers follow proceedings during the marking of 2019 World AIDS Day at Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on Sunday, 1st December 2019.