First Lady launches first mobile clinic

By PSCU

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta Friday launched the first fully kitted “Beyond Zero” mobile clinic at State House Nairobi.

The first mobile clinic which will be sent to Taita Taveta County is expected to improve access to health care for mothers and children in that region.

She said her office will prioritize counties for the clinics based on HIV, maternal and child health indicators to ensure ultimately all counties are supported.

“When we started the Beyond Zero campaign, I made a promise to raise funds to provide mobile clinics, to improve access to health care for mothers and children,” the First Lady said.

Thanking sponsors, donors and well-wishers for supporting her initiative, the First Lady urged other like-minded partners to come on board as a lot of work remains to be done to  achieve the “Beyond Zero” initiative.

She particularly expressed her gratitude to General Motors for providing a prototype of the mobile clinic.

“I would also like to thank the technical team, led by Ministry of Health that has worked so hard to support this initiative,” she said.

The First Lady through her “Beyond Zero” campaign anticipates catalyzing national and international actions with a view to accelerating the realization of three Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The three Millennium Development Goals are number 4 on reducing child mortality; goal number 5 on improving maternal health; and goal number 6 on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

The “Beyond Zero” campaign is expected to support county health management efforts through mobile clinics, provision of incubators, point of care infant diagnostic kits, oxygen concentrators as well as through intense community and household awareness raising and sensitization on adoption of preventative health practices/behaviours.

The First Lady’s agenda derives its intent and purpose from, and is consistent with the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) whose current theme is “Celebrating Ten Years of African First Ladies: Initiative in the campaign for ZERO HIV new infection, ZERO discrimination, and ZERO HIV/AIDS related Deaths.”

Speaking at the function the Cabinet Secretary for Health Mr. James Macharia said the mobile clinic will bring hope to mothers who face pregnancy related complication in the country.

He said the launch of the mobile clinic services is a key milestone in the health sector as it helps in ensuring easy access to affordable maternal and child health care services.

“Four months ago we never believed that indeed it will come to fruition, and so today we celebrate this key milestone,” said the Health Cabinet Secretary.

Adding “The fact that we have this kind of machine which will be helping our people to access health services indeed it will make a big difference. So let me congratulate you for helping Kenya achieve this mile stone.”

Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu thanked the First Lady for her noble initiative which he said will make a big difference to the county’s residents many of whom are sparsely spread and have difficulties accessing medical facilities.

“In that area we have people who sometimes walk for about 20 Km to access medical facilities. The population is spread out so far that we have some  people who  live in ranches and mining areas and hence have challenges accessing medical facilities,” said Governor Mruttu.

Others who graced the occasion were the Director of Medical Services Dr. Nicholas Muraguri and General Motors Director Ms. Rita Kavashe