Kirinyaga County Government has refuted claims by Kirinyaga Central Sub-County Education Director Kennedy Machora that 12,000 of 16,000 secondary school students had contracted and were treated for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI).

Kirinyaga CEC for Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation George Karoki, in a statement on Monday, termed Machora’s utterances misleading and unsubstantiated.

Karoki clarified that the Department of Health had only chronicled and treated 1,345 STI cases in Kirinyaga Central Sub-County and a total of 4,409 cases in the whole county in 2022.

“These cases are for the general population and not for a specific cohort of patients,” said Karoki.

He added: “Whereas community education to deter our youths from risky sexual behaviour must be embraced by all sectors. It is equally important for officers in other departments to consult the health department for accurate data.”

The CEC insists the data is grossly exaggerated and the source cannot be established.

“We find it very reckless and irresponsible for a Government officer to make such blanket unsubstantiated statements and would like the sub-county Director of Education to present the source of his information, failure to which he should be held accountable,” warned Karoki.

Karoki further noted that no mass screening for STIs has been executed in secondary schools in Kirinyaga County.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony in the weekend, Machora sensationally said that 12,000 of the 16,000 students in Kirinyaga Central Sub-County had been tested and treated for STIs.