Kwale youth abandon scholarship over blood test

Students in a driving class. Msambweni youth have abandoned their driving classes for fear of getting a blood test./COURTESY

Around 200 youths from Msambweni in Kwale county have abandoned their driving courses for fear of having their blood tested.

The youth sponsored by the Msambweni Constituency Development Fund (CDF) abandoned their driving courses after they learnt they had to undergo a blood test before acquiring their driving licenses.

According to Msambweni Member of Parliament (MP) Suleiman Dori, who has been sponsoring the youth for free driving lessons through CDF, the trainees are equating the blood group test for HIV testing.

The tests are a requirement to know ones’ blood group which is included in the new smart licenses introduced by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

Speaking during a public forum at Gazi area of Msambweni on Thursday, Dori said the rollout of the youth empowerment program was now in limbo. He urged the youth to back for the course explaining to them that the blood group testing was a move by NTSA aimed at facilitating treatment of accident victims admitted to health facilities.

“I still don’t believe what these young people have done after learning that for them to get a driving license they have to undergo a blood test,” said Dori.

Dori expressed his disappointment with the turn of events having spent money on the training program and asked the local driving colleges to hold guidance counseling sessions for the youth on matters of blood.

“I am taken aback by the fact that instead of youth registering in big numbers to benefit from the free empowerment program to gain skills they are abandoning it due to unfounded fears of HIV testing,” he added.

The Msambweni MP, sponsored the youth for the free driving lessons as part of his commitment to equip the youth in the constituency with employable skills as well as build their capacities for future opportunities.