, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 26 – Members of the Beyond Zero (BZ) Secretariat on Wednesday held a highly interactive meeting with donors and envoys accredited to Kenya where the conversation focused on the successes and milestones made by the initiative.
The donors and envoys agreed that the Beyond Zero initiative has finally transformed into a major and relevant actor in the country’s health care delivery system and expressed interest for continued partnership as the campaign enters its second phase.
This will include the putting up of a specialized, modern, state of the art Sh2.2 billion referral hospital for women and children.
Besides the Hospital, the second phase of BZ programme includes the delivery of more fully kitted mobile clinics to the hard to reach parts of Kenya. First Lady Margaret Kenyatta is the Patron of the BZ initiative.
Ford Foundation Regional Director Maurice Makoloo said the BZ initiative is at the heart of reducing serious inequality in the country especially those touching on women.
He said the initiative has become a major catalyst to County Governments which are now investing heavily on health issues. He said Ford will continue its engagement with BZ as the initiative prepares for its second phase programmes.
Swiss and Australian Ambassadors Ralf Heckner and John Feakes respectively expressed interest with continued engagement with BZ saying the initiative has become a resilient actor in the country health delivery system.
A representative of the Royal Thai Embassy Sudkanuery Nivesratana said Thailand had a long history working with Mobile clinics and they understand the dire need of these critical facilities. Kenya can benefit from Thailand’s experiences, said the envoy.
During the meeting at a Nairobi Hotel, the BZ team put a strong case that although the First Lady had successfully delivered 47 fully kitted mobile clinics to all the counties, the initiative goes beyond the clinics and has impacted the lives of all Kenyans in a positive way.
Led by the BZ Technical Advisor Jane Kiragu and Programme Officer Angela Langat, the team said the initiative has successfully stimulated social dialogue and promoted political and social accountability for the health of mothers and children.
The initiative has successfully ensured access and increasing uptake of health services by the previously hard to reach populations. The Initiative also assists County Governments with Strategic Interventions while its campaigns helps reduce the fear of HIV testing.
The team said the BZ campaign has turned into a well known brand, both locally and abroad where it has become a major inspiration and focal point for action and change.
Seeking for further partnership towards the construction of the BZ referral hospital, the team said proposed institution embraces a modular design that allows phased construction and respective donors can chose to take up sections of the facility for sponsorship.