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First Lady unveils new health services model

Peter Leshan and PSCU @PeopleDailyKe

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta yesterday launched a new model of delivering healthcare services dubbed Integrated Medical Safaris.

The plan will see an array of medical service providers come together to offer specialised services to the public at designated locations.

The programme, which is part of the enhanced Beyond Zero Initiative, is meant to supplement efforts to achieve Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC), a key component of the government’s Big Four agenda.

The First Lady said the Beyond Zero campaign aimed at reducing mother to child HIV/Aids transmission is a success.

Speaking  in Narok during the launch of Integrated Medical Services Safari, she said the initiative has  reduced infant mortality and mothers deaths during delivery.

She expressed confidence that the Medical Safaris initiative will enhance the government’s agenda for universal healthcare by providing access to all Kenyans.

First Lady tours the ICU unit after she opened the facility at Narok County Referral Hospital. Photo/PETER LESHAN

“We have committed to leave no one behind. We have committed to remain responsive to critical challenges by offering integrated specialised services to all groups in our life-cycle, pregnant mothers and their babies, adolescents and young people, adults and elderly persons,” she said.

The First Lady said the initiative would also advocate for many Kenyans especially women to enroll into the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the Linda Mama programme so as to protect them from financial hardships associated with healthcare.

“Since its launch five years ago, Beyond Zero has made a difference. Mother-to-child HIV/Aids transmission has gone down and infant and their mothers mortality has reduced,” she said at the town’s stadium.

The First Lady said there was a lot of ground to cover to attain zero transmissions and deaths and asked  stakeholders in the health sector and counties to deploy energy and resources towards the goal.

She said access to health services by women and children in rural areas has been eased through deployment of mobile clinics in all the 47 counties.

Earlier, the First Lady opened an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and a kidney dialysis centre at the local county referral hospital.

Health Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki urged counties to support the National government in providing quality drugs to hospitals and other health units to combat spread of old and emerging diseases.

Narok Governor Samuel Tunai said his government has set aside money for coverage of all children and the elderly through NHIF.

“We have set aside money to ensure vulnerable groups get medical insurance cover. All MPs have also set aside Sh2 million each for the same purpose,” he said, adding that: “300 medical providers have been employed by the county government and deployed to far flung areas to ensure residents access health care within their locality.”