NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 25 – Kenya loses 27 out of 1,000 newborns within 48 hours of birth as a result of vaccine preventable diseases such as pneumonia.
Speaking at the 10th International Congress of Tropical Paediatrics at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre First Lady Margaret Kenyatta called on all stakeholders in Kenya and Africa to effectively play their roles to ensure all Millennium Development Goals related to the welfare of children are achieved.
She said the delivery of mobile health clinics to all the 47 counties will ensure that maternal and newborn mortality rates are reduced.
“It’s unacceptable that mothers in the 21st Century still die while giving life. I urge each person here to commit to do their best towards achieving the MGDs. Achieving the MGD is like running a marathon. It can only be run one step at a time; it requires strategy, fortitude and over arching commitment to the end,” she said.
“As we have just passed the 500th day mark to the countdown on the MDGs, it is an opportune moment for us to individually as countries, and collectively as regions, to take stock of our progress towards achieving the MDG targets set just about 15 years ago.”
“This conference must not be just one more talk shop where professional colleagues renew contacts, exchange pleasantries and engage in high level medical discussions but leave without firm strategies of how to get us to the finishing line.”
Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia says the Health Ministry will ensure sufficient vaccines in all public hospital to keep preventable diseases amongst children at bay.
Macharia says although the health sector is a devolved service, his ministry will continue to work closely with County Governments to ensure Kenyans access quality and effective medical services.
“Our success in the current transition depends on ensuring that we work as a team in discharging our responsibilities. My ministry will ensure that all the national and county health facilities will be supplied with the vaccines in a sustainable manner. These strategies are expected to positively contribute to the accelerated achievements of the 4th MDG aimed at reducing the child mortality,” he said.
In addition the government is urging all parents to vaccinate their children from six to 14 weeks of life to help reduce child mortality.