First Lady Margaret Kenyatta to unveil new health initiatives as she takes Beyond Zero’s Medical Safaris to Kisumu County.

KISUMU, 21 November (PSCU)-First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will tomorrow unveil three new initiatives aimed at expanding access to quality health care as the country races towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The new health initiatives will be launched at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground, Kisumu, where Beyond Zero takes its Medical Safaris-the new model of healthcare delivery in which groups of medical service providers come together to offer specialized services to the public at designated locations.

The First Lady will unveil the new National Point of Care Implementation Roadmap under which Kisumu becomes the first beneficiary of the first Point of Care Early Infant Diagnostic (POCEID) device donated by Beyond Zero to the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital.

POCEID technology will allow HIV-exposed infants to be tested at the clinic and receive their results on the same day, supporting the rapid enrolment of HIV-positive infants on life-saving antiretroviral treatment.

The Ministry of Health(MoH) has adopted the use HIV Point of Care Technologies for Early Infant Diagnosis at the site of patient care or near patient care, as part of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda and in line with sustainable development Goals (SDGs).

The First Lady will also unveil the Kisumu County Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (eMTCT) of HIV/Aids, 2018/22 policy that is aligned to the second Beyond Zero strategic framework for the same period and which she launched earlier in the year.

The new initiatives are in line with the Beyond Zero second strategic framework which outlines the First Lady’s commitment and engagement towards the promotion of healthy lives and well-being of women, children and adolescents.

The new strategies are also aimed at ensuring nobody is left behind including those affected by previously neglected health challenges like Fistula, disability in children and sickle cell complications.

The Medical Safaris programme, which is central to the enhanced Beyond Zero Initiative is part of the ongoing efforts geared towards achieving UHC, one of the four pillars of the Government’s Big 4 development agenda.

The success of the Medical Safaris is anchored on harnessing the expertise and financial muscle of partners to deliver much needed medical services.

There are over 20 partners taking part in the three day medical Safari in Kisumu including medical insurance firm AAR, the National Hospital Insurance Fund, the Philips Global Healthcare Equipment provider and the Beth Mugo Cancer Foundation.

Key activities during the three-day integrated medical safaris include identification of women and girls who require treatment for obstetric fistula  and  their re-integration into their respective communities.

Others included registration and assessment of children with intellectual impairment, enrolment of pregnant women into the Linda Mama and  NHIF programmes, eye care for older persons, screening of cancers and provision of routine services such as immunization, HIV testing and counselling.

The 2nd Beyond Zero Strategic Framework (2018-2022)  is anchored on the principle of leaving no one behind and adopts a life-cycle approach targeting pregnant women and new-borns, infants and children, adolescents and young people, men, older persons and children with disabilities.

The framework aims at increasing the number of people under health coverage from the current 16.53 million to 25.74 million.

ENDS