, WAJIR, Kenya, Oct 14 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has urged Wajir County leadership to provide quick win solutions to challenges facing area residents.
She pointed out that it is through exploitation of available natural resources that the County Government can improve on the livelihoods of Wajir people.
“I am informed that Wajir County is rich in natural resources such as underground water, livestock and solar energy that can be exploited to benefit citizens and promote development,” said the First Lady.
The First Lady was speaking on Tuesday at Wajir stadium during the handing over ceremony of the seventh fully kitted mobile clinic to Wajir County Government.
Wajir Governor Ahme Abdullahi Mohamad paid glowing tribute to the First Lady for her untiring efforts of ensuring better health care services for Kenyans especially mothers and children.
The Governor said his County Government will procure two more similar mobile clinics to ensure more Wajir residents access better health services.
He said due to the vast distance between health facilities in the county and lack of manpower and inadequate drugs, the “Beyond Zero” mobile clinic will help in mitigating health challenges in the region.
Wajir County Health Executive, Rukia Maalim said the County Government is expanding and upgrading its facilities and services to ensure the pathetic health situation in the county is reversed.
She said in the last financial year of 2013-2014 approximately Sh900 million was allocated to the health sector while in this financial year of 2014-2015 Sh1.2 billion has been set aside for utilisation in the sector.
The First Lady has at the same time said the future of Wajir County and Kenya at large is pegged on quality lives of its citizens particularly the children.
She said the realisation that over 90 percent of women in Wajir County do not access skilled delivery services should motivate all stakeholders to provide solutions to change the situation.
“There could be no more fitting tribute to mothers than to ensure they are provided with a safe environment and supported by skilled health providers while giving life,” said the First Lady.
She said the government and all stakeholders are duty bound to ensure that children are well educated and brought up in a healthy environment free of HIV/AIDS.
She said the country will only succeed in its endeavours when Kenyans confront retrogressive cultural practices affecting children, including female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriages.
“I believe together, we can build a Kenya where young girls are preparing for school not for marriage,” she said.
“In every child lies hope that the future will be brighter and the only gift we can bestow on them is to remove barriers that shut down their beautiful dreams,” she said.
Challenging Wajir residents and all Kenyans to demonstrate their love for those affected and infected by the HIV/AIDS, the First Lady said the country has an obligation to face the high levels of HIV related stigma amongst the population.
“The more than 600 people living with HIV in this county require support to access lifesaving medication,” she said.
The First Lady said stigma costs lives, alienates children, mothers, sisters, and brothers while at the same time denying them opportunities to get fully engaged in social development.
“This deprivation is not only a human rights violation but has profound consequences on the health of the community as well as the physical and psychological wellbeing of those living with HIV,” the First Lady declared.
Devolution of health, she said, should serve as a catalyst to bridge inequalities that exist across the country.