, WOTE, Kenya, June 18 – Empowering women will benefit the whole society as they are the anchors of families, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has said.
The First Lady said women should be given more opportunities to engage in economic activities and be encouraged to join development driven self-help groups.
The First Lady was speaking Thursday at Wote when she handed over the 30th fully kitted Beyond Zero Mobile Clinic to Makueni County.
She said the opening of the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) in Makueni and the ongoing construction of a modern maternity wing in the County’s referral hospital will give more women in the area opportunity to deliver under the care of skilled health personnel.
“Much as the government has invested in evidence-based, cost-effective interventions to improve the health of women and children, much more still needs to be done,” the First Lady added.
She said the ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign envisions a Kenya with ‘Zero’ preventable maternal and child deaths.
“The campaign aims to ensure that no woman dies while giving life and ensuring that all children live to celebrate many birthdays,” affirmed the First Lady.
The First Lady expressed optimism that in the near future, Kenya will be able to completely prevent cases of mother to child transmission of HIV virus.
She pointed out that one way to achieve this vision is through mobile clinic services being spearheaded by the ‘Beyond Zero’ initiative.
She commended the spouse of Makueni Governor Nazi Kivutha for her initiative to keep girls in school through the sanitary pad project.
She said the project will not only improve the girls health but also give them a chance to successful settle in their careers later in life.
“The sanitary pad project also ensures that girls do not lose valuable days out of school every month,” said the First Lady.
On the issue of draught and lack of enough water resources in the County, the First Lady urged the locals to find new ways of harnessing water during rainy seasons.
She said this is one of the ways of ensuring Makueni County gets enough water for both domestic purposes and agricultural production.
The First Lady also challenged the County government to capitalize on its natural heritage to attract both local and international tourists so as to improve on its revenues.
She said there is need for both the national and county governments to cooperate to stem poaching around Tsavo National Park, which is robbing the country of the God-given heritage that needs to be conserved for posterity.
“As you are all aware, tourism is a major foreign exchange earner for our country and we need to ensure that we do not negatively affect this revenue stream through poaching motivated by greed and selfishness,” said the First Lady.
Local leaders led by Governor Kivutha Kibwana commended the First Lady for her exemplary leadership which they said should be emulated by all Kenyan leaders.
They pointed out that her action oriented leadership is worthy emulating as it produces quality services, impacting positively on all Kenyans.
“As the First Lady and a person, you have decided to make a major difference in people’s lives. You have positively impacted our mothers and children,” said Governor Kibwana.
Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior urged the locals to utilise to the maximum services of the mobile clinic by going for check-ups and screening to know their health status.
Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau said the decision by the First Lady to be involved in health matters has demystified women reproductive health.
She said through her efforts both the national and county governments have started allocating funds to carter for women reproductive health.
Other speakers included the Director of Medical Services Nicholas Muraguri and Makueni Women Representative Rose Museo among others.