NANYUKI, Kenya, Jan 22 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has urged County Governments to increase budgetary allocations in the health sector to set up critical facilities required for a healthy nation.
The First Lady said collective energies and resources should be harnessed to ensure accessible health care for all Kenyans, especially mothers and children.
She said counties should also use their budgetary allocations to purchase additional mobile clinics to ease the plight of pregnant women who need quick access to medical care during delivery.
The First lady spoke at Central Park in Nanyuki Town when she delivered the 18th fully equipped mobile clinic to Laikipia County Government.
“One mobile clinic, though a good start will not be enough to serve everyone in this vast county,” she said.
The First Lady said that her pet project, Beyond Zero campaign also gives Kenyans the opportunity to contribute to the reduction and eventual end to mother-to-child transmission of HIV during childbirth.
She said the continued spread of HIV in Laikipia is of great concern. She added that statistics from the Ministry of Health shows that by the end of 2013, 10,324 people in the county were living with the virus, with children constituting 13 per cent of this figure.
Adding, “We look forward to a good working partnership between the people and leadership of Laikipia County and the Beyond Zero team for the benefit of mothers and children of this great county.”
She challenged the leadership and people of Laikipia to harness the vast resources of land and wildlife in the county to change the economic status of the residents.
The First Lady invited Kenyans to join her on March 8 for the 2nd edition of the First Lady’s Half Marathon to raise funds for the purchase of additional mobile clinics for the remaining counties.
Sharing her experiences on the marathon, the First Lady reminded participants that success in any race requires physical and mental fitness, hence the need to practice and prepare adequately.
The First Lady regretted that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality and contributes six percent of deaths worldwide.
“Data from the World Health Organisation reveals that more than 60 per cent of the world’s population is not physically active,” she said.
By participating in the First Lady’s Marathon, she added, Kenyans will be joining global efforts to reduce unnecessary and premature deaths occasioned by lack of exercises.
Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu said his government is fully committed to providing quality health to the residents.
Local MP Anthony Mutahi pledged to lead a team of runners to participate in the First Lady’s 2nd Half-Marathon.
Other speakers were Laikipia Senator G.G. Kariuki and a nominated MP Sarah Lekorere.