by Justus Waimiri
[Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa] The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) and the Kenyan Government have now entered into serious negotiations on how to work together in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
At a high level meeting held at the Limuru Conference Centre on Tuesday and attended by all the 29 Bishops and top Government officials, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi expressed satisfaction at the commitment and goodwill that the new Government was showing in working with the Church. He said this commitment has shown lacking in the past.
The Archbishop presented to the Government a detailed plan of how the Anglican Church of Kenya was involved in the war against AIDS, noting that AIDS activities were being integrated in all pastoral work.
The campaign to work with religious groups was initiated by newly elected President Mwai Kibaki at a colourful function at State House, Nairobi, last Sunday.
The President told leaders from the mainstream churches that they had a duty to spearhead the fight against the scourge because they knew best the suffering of those infected and affected at the local community.
In Kenya, 700 people are dying daily from AIDS, with 52 per cent of all hospital bed occupancy being taken up by people infected with HIV/AIDS.
Bishop Peter Njenga of the Mt Kenya South Diocese challenged scientists and multinational companies to put more effort in developing a vaccine for AIDS.
The Mothers' Union, which has been actively involved in orphan care, was also represented at the consultations.
The Bishops, clergy and church members later walked along Nairobi streets to show solidarity with those affected by AIDS and to sensitise the public about the dreaded disease.