•The First Lady expressed appreciation for the sacrifices nurses in Kenya make to deliver maternal and child health services especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
•"That is why we shall be appreciating nurses who have been on the frontline working during the pandemic at the Beyond Zero Summit to be held in September this year," the First Lady said.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has applauded the role nurses play in promoting primary healthcare.
The First Lady expressed appreciation for the sacrifices nurses in Kenya make to deliver maternal and child health services especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"That is why we shall be appreciating nurses who have been on the frontline working during the pandemic at the Beyond Zero Summit to be held in September this year," the First Lady said.
She added, "They have been exceptional. They have worked tirelessly and sacrificed themselves as dedicated caregivers.".
Margaret Kenyatta spoke on Thursday during a virtual Beyond Zero technical working group meeting. The meeting drew participants from the Ministry of Health, National Aids Control Council (NACC), National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NASCOP), development and implementing partners as well as civil society organizations.
At the same time, the First Lady reaffirmed her commitment to continue contributing towards the improvement of Kenya's health system.
"Beyond Zero will focus on investment at the primary health level through the refurbishment of community life centres,” she said.
Beyond Zero's programs are guided by two blueprints, the Strategic Framework on Engagement for HIV Control and Promotion of Maternal Child Health of 2013 to 2017 and the Strategic Framework for the Engagement of the First Lady in the Promotion of Healthy Lives and Wellbeing of Women, Children and Adolescents of 2018 to 2022.
Reports indicate that both the Linda mama initiative and the Beyond zero campaigns have been effective in improving maternal and neonatal health.
Since 2013, Stunting reduced from 35 per cent to 26 per cent, while exclusive breastfeeding improved from 32 per cent to 61 per cent.
“Our successes have been many and the impact has been encouraging. There has been positive transformation in reducing preventable maternal and child deaths. The clarion call that 'no woman should die while giving life' remains central to Beyond Zero’s work,” First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said.
NACC CEO Dr Ruth Masha, in a speech read by Deputy Director Dr Emmy Chesire, expressed optimism that technical interventions and coordination will help in the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis in the country.
"I am hopeful that through technical interventions and collaborations with county governments, we will reduce the mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis from double digits to single digits in the next two years,” Dr Masha said.
She added that Kenya desires to join the rest of the world where HIV and syphilis transmission rates from mother to child has been sustained at below 5 percent.