Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Thursday launched a second strategic plan for her campaign dubbed "Beyond Zero," and vowed to fight cancer and maternal and child mortality.
Margaret said besides strengthening the maternal healthcare and HIV/AIDS awareness, which were the main focus in the last four years, the new plan now includes new health challenges that commonly affect women.
"Even though we have achieved much, many women and children still lack the care to live healthy and fulfilling lives," she said during the launching ceremony in Nairobi that coincided with the International Women's Day.
The First Lady noted that the new framework will build on the first 2013-2017 action plan, which was aimed at HIV control and promotion of maternal and child health, and addresses health challenges from childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
The new plan, which has now been aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is linked to President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four agenda of food security, universal health care, decent housing and manufacturing; and Vision 2030 on provision of universal health care by 2022.
"These goals have never been more important; and we have never been closer to achieving them than we are now," Margaret said.
She said her new strategy will be focused on influencing investment for breast and cervical cancer prevention, treatment and management, mobilizing men to be take active role in HIV and reproductive health and championing country validation for the pre-elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2021.
Other new roles, she said, will be to advocate social inclusion of children living with disability for equal access to health and education services, advocate for access to comprehensive health care and social protection and advocate for repair and reintegration of women living with obstetric fistulae.
The First Lady also underscored the importance of mobile clinics and the marathon race as innovative platforms that successfully spurred action to achieve the goals of the "Beyond Zero" campaign.
Margaret's husband, President Uhuru Kenyatta who graced the occasion pledged support to the initiative, terming it as a great success in reducing maternal and child mortality since its inception.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa also attended the ceremony. The Chinese embassy had supported the campaign by funding the purchase of mobile clinics and medical equipment for four consecutive years since the inception of "Beyond Zero."
The Chinese embassy donated medical equipments worth about 130,000 U.S. dollars to Kenya after the ceremony. The equipment, including infusion pumps and micro-injection pumps, will benefit six health facilities in Nairobi and Tana River counties.
(Xinhua News Agency, March 9, 2018)