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Mother-to-child HIV infections have reduced by half

Wednesday June 14 2017

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (centre) chats with some governors’ wives at Safaricom Indoor Arena at Kasarani during a Beyond Zero Summit on June 13, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (centre) chats with some governors’ wives at Safaricom Indoor Arena at Kasarani during a Beyond Zero Summit on June 13, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By FAITH NYAMAI
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The number of  mother-to-child HIV infections dropped by 50 per cent in 2015, thanks to the Beyond Zero campaign, that has embarked on better maternal health.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Tuesday said out of the 79,000 HIV-positive expectant women in 2015, there were only 6,600 new infant infections — down from 12,000 in 2013.

“We have averted 2,000 deaths among our mothers, dropping maternal deaths from 6,000 to 4,000 annually,” said Mrs Kenyatta.

The First Lady was launching “The Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission Framework for HIV and Syphilis 2016-2021” on Tuesday at Safaricom Stadium-Kasarani at a summit attended by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu, county governors’ wives and other health partners.

POSITIVE RESULTS

“Our joint efforts and our resolve has contributed to these positive results,” said Mrs Kenyatta, adding that in the past three years, maternal healthcare has seen a lot of transformation.

Mrs Kenyatta attributed the success of Beyond Zero to partnerships with the 47 county governments and development partners.

She said through the fully kitted Beyond Zero mobile clinics, they provided direct services to more than 420,000 Kenyans and communicated useful health information to millions more.