ISIOLO, Kenya, Sept 12 – The ‘Beyond Zero’ mobile clinic will complement the Isiolo County Government efforts to deliver quality health services in the area, the Governor Godana Doyo has said.
The Governor and other local leaders who spoke at Isiolo Stadium when First lady Margaret Kenyatta presented a fully kitted mobile clinic to the County Government said the existing health facilities were not adequately catering for the nomadic lifestyles of the community due to the long distances involved.
Doyo welcomed the mobile clinic as a facility that comes in handy in addressing the plight of the pastoralist community who move from one place to another in search of pasture and water for their livestock.
He said, “This County is inhabited by a nomadic community whose plight has never been adequately addressed by the existing health facilities. We are happy that the clinic will enable them access quality health care as it will move to them.”
The Governor said the mobile clinic will also reduce distances covered by the local community to access health facilities.
Local MP Joseph Samal stressed the need for leaders in both levels of government to ensure sustainability of the mobile clinic project championed by the First Lady.
Samal said most projects without sustainability plans turned to white elephants soon after the initiators of such noble initiatives handed them over to the beneficiaries.
“There is need to come up with sound legislation and policies on how the First Lady’s pet project can be sustained in future,” the MP said.
County Executive Member for Health Patrick Lesengei also welcomed the mobile clinic saying the facility will assist in addressing stigma associated with HIV/AIDs.
The facility will enable more people in the area to conduct HIV/AIDS testing discretely and in their local neighborhoods.
The First Lady said the Beyond Zero Campaign she is championing will bring tangible changes to mothers and children and contribute to HIV control in the country.
“My commitment as espoused in the Beyond Zero philosophy is about inspiring Kenyans, leaders and communities to change the lives of all mothers and children,” she said.
“I want to thank the people who have made generous contributions towards this cause. Today we are delivering the sixth fully kitted mobile clinic out of the planned 47,” she added.
The First Lady urged Isiolo County leaders to commit themselves to HIV control by ensuring mothers deliver safely in a healthy environment so as to live to see their children grow.
She regretted that many young girls in Isiolo County dropped out of school with barely sufficient education to reduce deaths of children under 5.
The First Lady blamed Female Genital Mutilation and early marriages as some of the retrogressive cultural practices that contributed to increased risk of deaths during delivery.
The First Lady said it is not acceptable that out of 167 HIV positive pregnant women in the county last year, only 40 delivered in health facilities.
She said, “Isiolo County, with an estimated population of 150,817 people has a prevalence of HIV infection of 4.2% with a higher prevalence among women. Available data suggest that polygamous households tend to have higher HIV prevalence.”
The First Lady also urged County Governments to allocate adequate funds towards the provision of better health services to complement the free maternal health services already offered in public hospitals.
You should also provide resources to operationalize the fully kitted mobile clinic that are provided under the Beyond Zero campaign, she said.
Isiolo becomes the six county to benefit from the Beyond Zero mobile clinics after Taita Taveta, Narok, Samburu, Homa Bay and Baringo.