Beyond Zero has won the Kifaru Award from the Council of Governors (CoG) who have recognized the initiative as a warrior in health service delivery.
The initiative, whose Patron is the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, emerged the winner amongst 15 nominees, in the service delivery category, presented to the governors during the recent Devolution Conference in Naivasha on March 7.
The Award was presented to the office of the First Lady today during the Beyond Zero National Steering Committee Breakfast meeting at a Nairobi Hotel.
The meeting brought together various stakeholders from the Office of the First Lady, Ministry of Health, National Aids Control Council (NACC) , the CoG and the National Aids and STI ( Sexually Transmitted Infections) Control Programme (NASCOP) among other partners.
The objective of today’s meeting was to review the successes and challenges of Beyond Zero by taking stock of the current situation and mapping strategies on how to achieve the envisaged goals of the initiative: Zero maternal and child deaths and zero new HIV transmissions.
Chief of Staff Ms Constance Gakonyo received the Award, (on behalf of the First Lady) from the CoG Chief Executive Officer Ms Jacqueline Mogeni.
The Kifaru Award, one of the Devolution Warrior Awards, recognizes an institution or individual that has provided support and taken key interest in a particular sector and objectively addressed the issues that relate to devolution in that sector.
“The Award was about recognizing Beyond Zero campaign that has taken key interest in Health Care services and objectively addressed issues of Maternal and Child care at the County level”, said Ms Mogeni
The nomination and vetting process of the awardees was made by members of the public who gave various reasons for picking the innovative Beyond Zero initiative as the winner.
The public cited the initiative’s passion about improving maternal and child healthcare by donating mobile clinics to all the 47 Counties now benefitting millions women and children, consequently improving maternal and childcare.
Other reasons included accessibility to outpatient services provided by Beyond Zero clinics which provide health care close to the people and especially populations that were previously hard to reach .
The new award in the second major recognition of Beyond Zero in less than six months. In November last year, the initiative was celebrated as the strongest brand under a special category of Corporate Social Responsibility pooling together 53 brands in East Africa.
Ms Mogeni said Beyond Zero, by supporting existing health structures, had steadily contributed to continued reduction of infant mortality besides reducing Mother-To-Child (MTC) HIV Transmission.
“The percentage of HIV transmission from mother to child reduced by 50 per cent from 12,000 in 2013 to 6,000 in 2015, which we give attribute to the mobile clinics”, added Ms Mogeni
Besides maternal and child healthcare, the mobile clinics also offer cancer screening, Family Planning, Nutrition Plans, free medicines and HIV counseling and testing services.
Ms Mogeni described the initiative as a game-changer in health delivery in the Counties despite existing challenges. She however said the Governors are addressing the challenges.
Ms Gakonyo expressed appreciation and gratitude to members of the Beyond Zero National Steering Committee for the guidance they have given the initiative particularly on improving and saving the lives of women and the elimination of MTC transmission of HIV.
She also thanked members of the Technical Advisory Team and Ministry of Health who she said were instrumental in the design and pre-launch negotiations with County governments prior to the successful hand-over of mobile clinics .
“The development of standard operating procedures and corresponding MOU’s that were signed in every County ensured that wananchi were able to receive medical services immediately upon delivery of the clinics through the county health networ’, said Ms Gakonyo.
She said the First Lady counts on the support of all partners as the initiative looks forward to the formulation and delivery of the next strategic framework.
NACC Director Dr Nduku Kilonzo who gave an update of the Strategic Framework for engagement towards HIV control and promotion of maternal, Newborn and child health outlined the proposed new frontiers for Beyond Zero.
Besides the planned Sh 2.2 billion Beyond Zero State-of the-Art Model Hospital for mothers and children, Dr. Nduku said there are proposals for more additional mobile clinics to be donated to the needy counties , distribution of medical equipment and a new focus on adolescents and young people in the area of HIV/Aids prevention and control.
Others who addressed the meeting included the head of NASCOP Technical Advisory Team, Dr.Martin Sirengo.