SPEECH BY H.E. MARGARET KENYATTA, THE FIRST LADY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, DURING THE HANDING OVER OF THE 30TH BEYOND ZERO MOBILE CLINIC TO MAKUENI COUNTY ON THURSDAY, 18TH JUNE 2015

On December 6, 2018 In Statements and Speeches

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mwi aseo, I am delighted to join you in your county today. Thank you for the very warm welcome. I am certain that the Beyond Zero campaign will have a fruitful engagement with the County Government and people of Makueni as we seek to improve the health of women and children. Makueni County boasts the volcanic Chyulu Hills, Mbooni Hills and Kilungu Hills. I encourage the county leadership to market these God-given features, in a manner that will attract tourism, both local and international. However, globally, desertification and changing weather patterns have caused great concern and impacted negatively on food production. With this unpredictable weather, we need to rethink how we will leverage our current resources against an uncertain future, utilize the little water resources that we have wisely and find ways of harnessing more water during the rainy seasons. This way, a time will come when Makueni will be water independent and create a new growth avenue for enhanced agricultural production. Poaching around Tsavo National Park is also of great concern as it is robbing our country of the God-given heritage that we must conserve for posterity. As you are all aware, tourism is a major foreign exchange earner for our country and we need to ensure that we do not negatively affect this revenue stream through poaching motivated by greed and selfishness. Therefore, both the County and National Government must cooperate and bring this vice to an end. Challenges faced by our children are matters that are close to my heart. I am impressed by the initiatives of the County First Lady who is committed to keep girls in school. This will improve their health and give them a chance at a successful career later in life. The sanitary pad project also ensures that girls do not lose valuable days out of school every month. Let us remember that women are the architects of families and empowering them benefits the whole society. I am delighted to note that the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) in Makueni is officially open with the first class of nursing students in session. I am also happy that a modern maternity wing in Makueni County Referral Hospital Hospital is under construction. This will encourage more women to give birth in a health facility where they will be under the care of skilled health personnel. I am also amazed by the high male involvement during the labour and delivery process in the County Referral Hospital here in Makueni. Congratulations. The Beyond Zero campaign envisions a Kenya with 'Zero' preventable maternal and child deaths.  The campaign aims to ensure that no woman dies while giving life and that all children live to celebrate many birthdays. It is my hope that in the near future we will be able to eliminate cases of mother to child transmission of the HIV virus completely and also bring to an end the deaths of children below the age of five due to preventable causes. In this regard, we are hopeful that the mobile clinic we are giving to the people of Makueni today, will start to bring about the difference we desire in seeing this vision achieved. Kindly now join me in handing over the 30thmobile clinic proudly sponsored by the Beyond Zero campaign to your Governor, Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, on behalf of the people of Makueni County. Thank you.

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