SPEECH BY H.E. MARGARET KENYATTA, THE FIRST LADY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, DURING THE HANDING OVER OF THE 27TH BEYOND ZERO MOBILE CLINIC TO BUNGOMA COUNTY ON 22nd MAY, 2015

On November 16, 2018 In Statements and Speeches

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Thank you for warmly receiving us and for gracing this important occasion. Today, as I hand over the 27th Beyond Zero mobile clinic to your county, we mark another milestone in our journey to improving the health of our mothers and children. As you are all aware, this is an extremely demanding journey; a cause that deserves our undivided attention. It is, therefore, befitting for me to 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. Your county is beautiful and well-endowed. You have guarded and maintained your rich culture. This is something to cherish and be proud of. Congratulations. You are also truly blessed to have a major transit highway passing through your county. This has made Bungoma a major gateway to the landlocked countries of East Africa. Though a blessing, some activities along this highway have fueled the spread of HIV/AIDS in the county. Likewise, women and girls are particularly faced with challenges that increase their vulnerability due to lack of economic empowerment. Men in this patriarchal society need to actively protect their women and the girl child. Fellow Kenyans, Time has come for all of us to stand up against negative cultural practices which undermine the goals that we are all committed to including gender equality and women empowerment. Vices like early marriages, teenage pregnancies, defilement of young girls and high school dropout rates have no place in our modern society. 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. The Highway has also led to the loss of lives of quite a number of Kenyans through accidents caused by reckless driving. This has put intense pressure on the medical facilities in your county, with many of the serious cases being referred to Eldoret and even Nairobi. In this respect, there is need to upgrade the current medical facilities in the county. This will make a huge difference in saving the lives of accident victims. As we deliver this mobile clinic today, I urge mothers – who find it difficult to access healthcare – to take full advantage of the services that will be provided by this clinic. This clinic will come to your doorstep and you will be able to deliver safely and in one of the best environments possible. I have said it before and I will repeat it today: we should not allow any mother to die while giving life. Before I conclude, I would also like to urge all Kenyans to guard against preventable diseases that are increasingly becoming a threat to our lives. Let us all observe personal and environmental hygiene to prevent the spread of cholera. Equally, let us also embrace active lifestyles and go back to eating our traditional foods to keep cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure at bay. Finally, ladies and gentlemen, join me now in handing over this 27th fully kitted mobile clinic kindly donated by Tullow Oil to Governor Ken Lusaka, on behalf of the people of this great county. Thank you and God Bless you.

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