-First Lady’s Half Marathon to resume next year after a one-year hiatus
– Plans for the proposed special mother and child Beyond Zero Hospital still on course
– The Republic of China donates medical equipment for newborns and mothers worth Sh13 million
NAIROBI, 8 March 2018 (PSCU) – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta launched a second strategic plan for her Beyond Zero campaign aimed at securing gains made in the past four years and expanding her initiatives to cover cancer and fistula.
Besides strengthening the maternal healthcare and HIV/Aids awareness, which were the main focus in the last four years, the new plan includes new health challenges that commonly affect women.
The plan, launched at a ceremony at State House, Nairobi, outlines nine areas of interventions that the First Lady’s campaign will focus on, targets citizens across the human development life cycle. They include:
• influencing investment for decentralized services for breast and cervical cancer prevention, treatment and management
• Mobilising the engagement of men in HIV and reproductive health
• Advocating social inclusion of children living with disability for equal access to health and education services
• Advocating repair and reintegration of women living with obstetric fistulae
• Advocating access to comprehensive health care and social protection
• Championing country validation for the pre-elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV by 2021.
The new plan, which has now been aligned with Sustainable Development Goals, is linked to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda and Vision 2030 on provision of Universal Health care by 2022.
“These goals have never been more important; and we have never been closer to achieving them than we are now,” said the First Lady.
Today’s launch coincided with the International Women’s Day and the theme is ‘Press for Progress’. The First Lady said the theme gave her new impetus to push on with her work and boost health intervention in the next five years.
“This is the time to push, and to push hard. I look forward to consolidating my contribution in revamping health centres and putting up a special mother and child Beyond Zero Hospital”, she said.
The First Lady said the new framework builds on the first 2013-2017 action plan and addresses health challenges from childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age.
The first plan was delivered through the transformative and innovative Beyond Zero initiative, which focused on HIV/Aids control and promotion, newborn and child health.
The initiative mobilised partners to increase awareness and promote urgency among leaders and communities to boost intervention and improve citizens’ health.
During the first phase of her work, she distributed fully-kitted mobile clinics in all the 47 counties that became centres of medical tests and provision of healthcare and medicine, while the First Lady’s Half Marathons became important platforms for mobilising funds and creating awareness.
The First Lady described mobile clinics and the marathons as innovative and practical platforms that successfully spurred action to achieve the goals of the Beyond Zero campaign.
Today, the First Lady today announced that the marathons resume next year.
She said the country has in the past four years learnt important lessons and made important achievements during the implementation of the first strategic plan.
“We have achieved much. We know how much more we must do because there are challenges that continue to impede our progress,” she said, adding that many women and children still lack the care to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
The First Lady acknowledged that the milestones achieved under her Beyond Zero initiative would not have been possible without the support of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta is one partner who deserves special mention for his unfailing and unwavering support,” she said.
The First Lady paid gratitude to millions of Kenyans who stood with her in the four-year Beyond Zero journey as she acknowledged the strong support she has received from partners, local and international, as well as the Government through the Ministry of Health.
“The partnerships we have built together remain one of the greatest joys of this journey,” she said
Distinguished guests who attended the colourful ceremony at State House included Cabinet Secretaries, Governors and their spouses, diplomats and private sector members.
Chinese Ambassador Liu Xianfa donated medical equipment worth Sh13 million for babies and mothers.
The equipment will benefit six health facilities: Three in Nairobi and three in Tana River counties.
President Kenyatta who graced the occasion pledged support to the Beyond Zero initiative terming it as a great success.
The President appealed to all Kenyans of goodwill to come out and support the initiative which has helped in reducing maternal and child mortality since its inception in 2013.
“We are here to give you our commitment and our support to appeal to everybody to support this particular initiative, it’s a great initiative that has seen and recorded great successes,” President Kenyatta told the First Lady.
Others who spoke at the event included Council of Governors Vice chair Anne Waiguru of Kirinyaga, Cabinet Scretaries Margaret Kobia and Sicily Kariuki.
The rest were United Nations Resident Co-ordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Siddharth Chattterjee.