First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Thursday launched the 2018-2022 strategic framework that aims at promoting women, adolescents and children’s health matters in the next five years.
“This is the time to push, and to push hard. I look forward to consolidating my contribution to support solutions that address the social issues of our nation, initially by revamping existing health centres and in time by putting up a special mother and child Beyond Zero Hospital,” she said.
Speaking during the launch at State House, Mrs Kenyatta said the new framework adopts a life-cycle approach, and it addresses challenges at different stages of life.
“We have had the time to think through the broader frameworks under which we work, and the partnerships that make that work possible.”
She added: “That is why this framework is decisively shaped by the lessons its predecessor taught — it is integrated with the Sustainable Development Goals, Vision 2030 and the government’s commitment under the Big Four to provide universal health care by 2022.”
The First Lady said the 2013-2017 strategic framework achieved a lot, including reducing mother and child deaths.
Through the Beyond Zero campaign, 52 ambulances were distributed in the 47 counties to help expectant mothers arrive in hospitals on time.
Mrs Kenyatta called on county governments and development partners to join hands to build a healthier and better future for Kenyans.
The new strategic framework builds on the achievements of the 2013-2017’s framework.
It outlines focus areas in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s priorities in providing universal health coverage under the Big Four Agenda, which also includes food security and nutrition, provision of affordable housing and enhance manufacturing to create jobs.
It is geared towards building further partnerships and synergies, advocate for quality healthcare services and enhance leadership and commitment in the provision of health care in selected intervention areas.
The roadmap is aimed at continuing the work of the Beyond Zero initiative, whose successes were made possible through the Public-Private-Partnership model.
President Kenyatta said the government has started an engagement with county governments to ensure each Kenyan has access to quality healthcare.
“We have agreed we are going to harmonise our resources and partner with development partners. By partnering, we will have a prosperous nation,” he said.
The President said the government is also putting more effort to eradicate poverty and ensure there is universal healthcare for everyone.
“I am here to support the First Lady’s initiative, and we will do our best to ensure it succeeds,” he said.
Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the Ministry of Health is committed to achieve the President’s goal of providing universal healthcare.
“No woman should die when giving birth. We support the First Lady, and we must work together,” she said.
During the 2013-2017 period, Beyond Zero served as a platform to implement the strategic framework in control of HIV/Aids, and promotion of maternal, newborn and child health.
New HIV infections among children reduced from an estimated 13,000 in 2013 to 6,100 in 2016, while the percentage of mothers delivering without a skilled health provider decreased from 56 to 34 per cent.
The new framework will champion Kenya’s commitment to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
It will also mobilise the engagement of men in sexual and reproductive health, and advocate for comprehensive healthcare for older persons.