First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has urged men to stand up against cultural practices that undermine gender equality and women empowerment.
The First lady blamed economic empowerment on increased vulnerability of women and the girl child.
“Men need to actively participate in protection of the rights of women and the girl child. Time has come for all of us to stand up against cultural practices that deny the girl child basic rights,” she said.
The First Lady spoke at Friends School, Bokoli Grounds when she handed over the 27th Beyond Zero Mobile Clinic to Bungoma County.
“As a country, we need to safeguard the lives of our innocent children. We must ensure that they grow into productive citizens by giving them quality education,” she added.
The First Lady said vices including early marriages, teenage pregnancies, defilement and high school dropout rates that undermine the goals of a modern society need be shunned.
She said the transit highway passing through Bungoma County to landlocked countries of East Africa was a blessing but some activities along the road fueled the spread of HIV/AIDS.
“Bungoma is truly blessed to have a major transit highway passing through the county. This has made the County a major gateway to the landlocked countries of East Africa,” the First Lady said.
She regretted the many road accidents along the highway that has exerted pressure on medical facilities in the County.
The First Lady stressed the need to upgrade the existing medical facilities in the county to save the lives of accident victims requiring specialized treatment.
She said the mobile clinics donated through the “Beyond Zero” initiative comes in handy in augmenting health outlets at the grassroots and urged Kenyans to fully support the campaign.
“Let me thank all those who have steadfastly walked with us in this arduous journey for their support in prayers, cash and kind. I welcome those who have not done so to join the march towards reducing maternal deaths to Zero,” the First Lady said.
She urged mothers – who find it difficult to access healthcare – to take full advantage of the mobile medical services provided by the clinic.
“This clinic will come to your doorstep and you will be able to deliver safely and in one of the best environments possible,” the First Lady added.
Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka described First Lady’s “Beyond Zero” initiative as one of the country’s unifying factors devoid of ethnicity.
Other speakers included area MP Dan Wanyama, Kimilili MP Suleiman Murunga and Sirisia MP John Waluke. All of them commended the First Lady for her campaign to save mothers and children through accessible health services.