By Cheki abuje
The government of Kenya intends to reverse the poor trend of maternal health, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said Thursday in Busia County.
Speaking while launching the ‘Beyond Zero Campaign’, the First Lady said the new initiative also aims to accelerate the implementation of the national plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children.
The Fast Lady reiterated her commitment towards the initiative to ensure safety of mothers, children and women living with HIV/Aids and transmission of virus during birth.
She donated a complete mobile clinic set up worth more than Kshs.100million to the Busia county referral hospital.
Statistics indicate that fifteen women die every day due to pregnancy related complications in Kenya and 20% of all deaths among mothers in the country are AIDS-related.
“I am deeply saddened by the fact that women and children in our country die from causes that can be avoided. It doesn’t have to be this way. This is why I have the zeal for this initiative ‘Beyond Zero Campaign’ to address the predicaments of prenatal and postnatal medical treatment to women and children in our country.” Observed Margaret Kenyatta
According to the data from Commission on Information and Accountability for Women and Children’s Health 2013 , more than 100,000 children died before their fifth birthday—largely due to preventable causes. The report further reveals that new HIV/Aids infections during the same period accounted for more than 13,000 children.
Despite its commitment to maternal health care, Kenya continues to make slow progression in the sector. The maternal mortality rate stands at 488 deaths per 100,000 live births, pitying the country’s dream and commitment of achieving the UN Millennium Development Goal numbers four and five by 2015.
Better maternal health care services in Kenya have remained elusive as this has exposed mother and children as well as women with HIV positive to great health dangers.
The beyond zero campaign establishment is a nationwide initiative that will run in all the 47 Counties with strategic framework focuses on five key areas.
Speaking exclusively to Africa science News during her western Kenya visit, the first lady pegged her focus on: Accelerating HIV programmes, Influencing investment in high impact activities to promote maternal and child health and HIV control and Mobilizing men as clients, partners and agents of change.
She noted that Involving communities to address barriers to accessing HIV, maternal and child health services and Providing leadership, accountability and recognition to accelerate the attainment of HIV, maternal and child health targets are also key focal areas the initiative aims to achieve towards beyond zero campaign.
The initiative has been jointly funded by the Government of Kenya, private sector, Aghakan University hospital and individual well-wishers.