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Thursday, 30 September 2010

Gay Kenyans demonstrate for improved health

By Denis Nzioka

The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) was requested to participate in a march on September 28th from 8.30am at the Ministry of Health (Afya House) to Ministry of Planning and Ministry of Finance (Treasury) to push for increased funding for the health system and HIV and AIDS.

According to the World Health Organisation it is recommended that governments allocate at least 15% of their annual budgets to health. Kenya allocated only 7% in this financial year thus prompting the civil society and health service providers to demonstrate and push for greater funding.

Gay Kenya mobilised its staff and members and marched together. Carrying the Gay Kenya banner with the message 'Health For All Now: Access to health services for Kenyan Sexual Minorities NOW!' they marched, shouted and walked hand in hand with the rest to push for this important agenda.

Many other groups including University students, people with disabilities and other Human Rights networks were also in participation.

The greatest value for us is that we are increasingly gaining recognition as legitimate members of the civil society in Kenya.

The march could not have come at an appropriate time since September 27th each year is celebrated as the National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day; a day to not only bring attention to and promote understanding of the disproportionate burden of HIV among gay and bisexual men, but also to recommit ourselves to the fight to end this devastating epidemic.

We at Gay Kenya would personally like to thank the Gay Kenya Staff members who took part in this march - Denis, Simon, Maurice - members of Other Sheep Kenya, GALCK and David Kuria, all the LGBTI individuals who personally came and all the other participants who marched hand in hand with us to make this a successful initiative.

For more pictures visit our Facebook Page.

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