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technology 25 Nov 2019

The First Lady calls for renewed commitment to shield infants from HIV and Syphilis

By Waiswa Wafula

On Tuesday 23rd March, the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta emphasized on the need for commitment to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis in the country by 2021.

While addressing a virtual partnership meeting, she highlighted the importance of concerted efforts to accelerate the progress made towards achieving eMTCT through promotion of stronger partnerships.

“I am convinced that our successes rely on harmonized efforts from both the public and private sector.”

“I believe that our targets are achievable because of the solid partnerships we have built with you.” The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said.

Records indicate a huge step in the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and curbing maternal mortality rate with new HIV infections reducing from 12,826 in 2012 to 6,803 in 2020 (47%).

This achievement was aided by the First Lady’s beyond zero campaign which during a summit in 2017 launched the Kenya Framework for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis 2016-2021.

The First Lady commended the implementation of the eMTCT Framework by counties through the County Business Model.

“So far, we have successfully launched 11 county business plans. It is my hope that we as partners will commit to resourcing and supporting the remaining county government on their specific journey.” She spoke.

She went on to commend the partnerships between her beyond zero initiative and other stakeholders including the national and county government.

Through this support the beyond zero initiative was able to deliver 52 mobile clinics across the county.

“So far, we have conducted successful medical safaris in Nyanza, NORT AND South Rift, Central and Nairobi regions.” she added.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe represented by CAS Dr. Mercy Mwangangi applauded the first lady for using her beyond zero initiative to rally the entire country to prevent new HIV infections among new born children and preventing mothers from dying during labor.

Other speakers at the hybrid meeting that drew both physical and virtual participants from the public and private sectors as well as development partners included Chief of Staff in the Office of the First Lady Ms Constance Gakonyo, National Aids Control Council CEO Dr Ruth Masha and National AIDS and STI Control Program Head Dr Catherine Ngugi among others.