, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 10 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has said she launched ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign to improve on the gains made in reducing maternal and child deaths in the country.
She said she was also inspired by the progress made in reducing new HIV infections in children.
The First Lady said through her campaign, the funds raised have been used to buy 20 mobile clinics.
“The first of these have been delivered to Taita Taveta, Narok, Samburu, Homa Bay and Baringo. This week, I will deliver one more to Isiolo County,” she added.
She spoke during the First Lady’s Half Marathon 2015 sponsors breakfast at State House, Nairobi.
“We were inspired by the progress that preceded us: the number of new HIV infections in children fell by nearly 50pc between 2009, and 2012,” the First Lady said.
Mrs Kenyatta thanked Kenyans for their generosity and participation in the ‘Beyond Zero’ awareness campaign. She urged them to join her in maintaining the momentum so that the remaining 27 counties can also get mobile clinics.
“I have felt the power of that tradition in my advocacy for Beyond Zero. The generosity of Kenyans has overwhelmed me. Everywhere I have been, I have met willing helpers, willing givers and willing partners,” she said.
The First Lady added: “Kenyans are deeply interested in the project and when I ran to raise awareness, fellow Kenyans ran with me and gave what they had; it was both humbling, and encouraging.”
She also welcomed the private sector’s adoption of the ‘Beyond Zero’ project ‘as your own’.
“Your deep concern for the welfare of others shows that the private sector in Kenya has truly come of age,” she said.
She said Kenyans who cannot easily access healthcare are also “our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons”.
The First Lady said due to support for women including their health, many are in positions of “power and influence than ever before in our history”.
She appreciated the Government’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, especially international agreements which emphasise the rights of women.
Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia praised the First Lady for championing the noble cause, saying the mobile clinics will make healthcare accessible to more Kenyans.
At the function, Nairobi businessman Chris Kirubi brought Sh4million, Kenya Power donated Sh3million and a piano student Cathy Kiragu gave Sh230,000.