The Sotik event was quite the nail biter. Whilst stuck in a traffic jam on the Great Rift Valley escarpment road for 5 hours, we all started to wonder if we would make it in time. Amidst great relief, we arrived with half an hour to spare and quickly pulled out all the equipment to set up, only to be faced with the next hurdle as a great clap of thunder signaled the start of a huge downpour. Quickly covering all of our electronic equipment to save it from the rain, we then had no choice but to nervously watch the clock again waiting for the rain to ease, whilst also coming up with several back up plans – including setting up a waterproof screen and arranging to set up under a tent.
With just 15 minutes before kick off, the weather thankfully complied and we set about frantically putting together our equipment again as our partners continued with the HIV information sessions and quiz questions. After all the drama, we were very relieved that we managed to find signal quickly and only missed 5 and a half minutes of the match – phew!
We were really pleased to see how well received the on site HIV testing services were – the testing tents were busy before the match, during the rain, throughout the match, right until the end of the event. In total 97 people received HIV counseling and testing and only one was found to be HIV positive – a fantastic result for the health team and testament to all the work they have been doing. The average HIV prevalence for the region is between 8-12 %. The one person who was found to be HIV positive was not resident in Sotik but traveling through, so will be linked with the Government health facilities which provide free HIV treatment to those who need it.
It was also heartening for us to be there to witness this excellent result as we have built a strong relationship with the health team and others over the years: this was our third Africa Goal visit to Sotik – having worked with them in 2010 and 2014 as well.
The next morning we had time to plant indigenous trees with the partners as a continuation of their social responsibility – a great way to end our visit before heading off for our events around Lake Victoria.