First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has said community health workers play a crucial role in the health sector as they reach out to those who are unable to access health facilities.
She said it is in recognition of their pivotal role that her Beyond Zero organization decided to finance the training of over 5,000 community health volunteers to assist in the National fight against Covid-19.
“In recognition of the pivotal role community health volunteers play in fighting the pandemic, and to complement Government’s response to protect health workers against COVID 19, Beyond Zero financed the training of 5,154 community health volunteers,” the First Lady said.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta spoke Friday evening at the 25th Ordinary General Assembly of the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) steering committee meeting which was held virtually.
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At the meeting running under the theme ‘‘Showing resilience in the face of COVID19 by building on past gains and learning from the challenges of the present’’, member states gave an account of the measures they are taking to assist the marginalised groups in the fight against COVID-19.
To complement the Government recovery program, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said Beyond Zero will continue to support socioeconomic initiatives, especially those benefiting the elderly, orphans and other vulnerable members of the society.
She expressed optimism that through collaboration and partnerships, African nations are overcoming challenges brought about by COVID-19.
“We are optimistic that through resilience, our continued collaboration and partnerships, together, we as a nation and as continent, we shall live the promise of a better year in 2021,” the First Lady said.
She outlined various initiatives taken by Beyond Zero to cushion the most vulnerable groups from the negative impacts of COVID-19 saying she will continue to pursue objectives that will ensure that the most vulnerable segments of society have access to basic services.
“Beyond Zero’s Strategic Framework 2018 to 2022 focuses on among other interventions, improving access to comprehensive health care and social protection for targeted vulnerable groups.
“The welfare of mothers and children and the elderly remain a priority to our work, and in 2020 we supported 20,000 households from vulnerable families by providing medical and food supplies,” the First Lady said.
She said that in partnership with stakeholders, her organization will this year, offer screening for cervical and prostrate cancer and scale up advocacy work to sensitize communities on preventive healthcare access through the Beyond Zero Medical Safaris.
“We shall also enhance efforts to fast-track Kenya’s commitment to reduce the cases of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis to 50 per 100,000 live births.
“We will continue to advocate for accelerated policy uptake supporting eMTCT business plans to help galvanize resources for the implementation of programs,” said the First Lady.
Other speakers included the First Lady of the Republic of Congo who is also the President of OAFLAD, Antoinette Sassou N’guesso and African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira ElFadil Mohammed Elfadil.