, Kisii, Kenya, Nov 25 – Kisii County Governor James Ongwae has announced that his government will foot the funeral expenses for the Mandera Massacre victims.
Kisii and Kakamega County have been deeply affected after they lost 20 out of 28 people massacred in the heinous act.
Speaking Tuesday when he received the 13th ‘Beyond Zero’ fully kitted mobile clinic from the First Lady, Governor Ongwae said his government will support the bereaved families with transport and funeral expenses.
He called on all affected families to come forward and register in the County Offices so as to receive assistance.
Before addressing the gathering at Kisii High School grounds, the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta led the residents in observing a minute of silence in honour of the 28 victims.
In her speech, the First Lady called on the Kisii County Government to coordinate its available resources so as to tame the high rates of HIV infections in the County.
She said the HIV prevalence in Kisii is above the national average with 60,000 people living with the virus, 10 percent of whom are children.
“Almost 2,000 people died of Aids related complications in 2013 translating to 40 people per week,” she affirmed.
She said the situation in the county is further aggravated by the practice of Female Genital Mutilation and early marriages amongst the Kisii community.
She therefore called on the Kisii leaders to help curb the retrogressive cultural practices and so as to inspire young girls and boys to achieve their dreams.
“These marriages deny our girls the opportunity to get an education, and contribute to national development,” she said.
She stressed the need to use modern medical technologies to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, saying “We have an obligation to avail and promote access to these therapies.”
The ‘Beyond Zero,’ campaign, said the First Lady, is a vehicle being used to fulfill a personal commitment she made at the 2013 Organization of African First Ladies against AIDS (OAFLA) meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
At the meeting, said the First Lady, African First Ladies committed themselves to the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and keeping mothers and children alive.
“There is no greater satisfaction as a mother, than to fulfil these commitments made on the Global stage, but more importantly to serve the people of Kenya,” she added.
She said the ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign is an initiative aimed at rallying leaders, business people and communities towards facilitating the efforts of the Ministry of Health to meet certain goals.
The First Lady commended the Kisii County Health Management Team for drawing up a good programme to utilise the clinic for the benefit of its residents.
This mobile clinic, she said will be used to deliver essential health services such as vaccination, antenatal care, treatment of sick children and parents, HIV testing and treatment.
On issues of health Governor Ongwae said the County government has allocated over Sh2 billion which is about 33 percent of its budget to improve the county’s health sector.
“We have deliberately crowded out other sectors like Agriculture, trade and industry among others in order to support the health services sector,” said Governor Ongwae.