Wamama Wenzangu, Wazee na Watoto
Andu Maitu, Mwi Aseo
Thank you so much for the very warm welcome which you have extended to me today. The many women, men, youth and children I see in front of me indicate to me how special this occasion is for all of us because the stories we have heard affect us all.
I come with great joy because since my last visit to this region we, as a community, and as a country have made great gains in so many areas, but for me, the greatest gain that is the one we have made in the improvement of health of mothers and children. It is heartbreaking to see so many young mothers lose their lives during childbirth when they are so far from medical facilities.
For the past four years, I have devoted all my energies- towards eliminating this problem and improving the health of mothers and children. In 2013 I made a promise to you all, and to Kenyans that I would work along- side both the National and County Governments, together with local communities to ensure that no woman will suffer unnecessary death while giving birth and that no child shall die of preventable causes. This was the beginning of the Beyond Zero Campaign.
My vision as a mother is to see us raise our children to be healthy and happy so that they reach their potential and in turn look after us in our old age. Health and education go hand in hand to uplift the standard of every village and every community in Kenya. It is what gives our country a good economic backbone to ensure that our children have good jobs and a good future.
I stand before you filled with admiration, pride and gratitude because when I delivered the mobile clinics to your counties, we started a partnership and a journey that would require your tireless effort and commitment and resources to improve the health and wellbeing of women, children and men. And I am grateful to everyone here today; what I see, is an expression of your devotion and belief of your right to decide for yourselves the quality of services you demand from your Government.
I was happy when I learnt that as a community, you have utilised the Beyond Zero clinics and today, I make another commitment to continue the journey that I started in 2013, because the work is not over yet. I have heard the challenges women continue to experience regarding access to health services. I know that more partnerships are needed to empower our women and girls to demand better quality health services for their families. I have heard your requests and I know that maternal health care will remain the primary concern to me as it does for the Government. These concerns include easy access to water, roads and schools.
And while I promise to deliver your messages to the President, we have heard that the Government intends to fulfill its promise for free access to maternal services beyond the public health centres in order to reach more women in remote areas. The Government has also pledged additional resources through the ‘Linda Mama’ program to provide free healthcare services for antenatal and post-natal care and immunization.
Through the National Health Insurance Fund NHIF, wananchi have access to services that ensure that all diseases are treated in approved health facilities. Millions of women, men and children of all ages have experienced the gift of low cost or free quality health care. I urge you to register with NHIF to ensure that your families are not impoverished by disease.
I know, that together and as long as we remain committed we can achieve our health targets including zero deaths for mothers and children. But we can only achieve this if you give this Government, and if you give me, the opportunity to finish the work that we started.
Asanteni Sana, God Bless You