KAPKATET – Kenya First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has expressed optimism that increased public-private partnerships in the health sector will boost the country’s delivery of healthcare services to Kenyans.
She said strategic partnerships between the national and county governments as well as other stakeholders will help speed up the achievement of universal health coverage, one of the key pillars of the Big 4 Agenda.
The First Lady was speaking Thursday when she opened a specialized maternity theatre and neonatal unit at Kapkatet Hospital in Kericho County.
The construction of two facilities, as well as the purchase of medical equipment, was sponsored by the Andrew Wemyss Trust at a cost of KShs 200 million.
“Partnerships like what we are witnessing here today have great impact in the lives of many Kenyans, especially in the country’s health sector.
“This touches me, because I have seen how families and communities suffer unbearable pain due to lack of health services, particularly those from poor communities who are more vulnerable to increased health risks,” the First Lady said.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said the facility will go a long way in ensuring that mothers and babies in the region receive specialized quality healthcare in a safe environment.
“This is truly a noble project. The first of its kind in this region that will serve thousands of women and babies not only in Kericho County but also in the neighbouring counties,” she said.
Reaffirming her continued commitment to the agenda of promoting access to quality and affordable healthcare by women and children, the First Lady said the opening of the new specialized maternity theatre and neonatal unit was a great milestone.
She applauded the Andrew Wemyss Trust and its partners for ensuring that the project was delivered on schedule and pointed out the modern equipment at the facility will help reverse maternal and child mortality rates in the region.
The new facility boasts of state-of-the-art medical equipment including 20 incubators and a recovery area with 20 cots to cater for babies delivered prematurely.
The First Lady urged mothers countrywide to enrol in the Linda Mama program that is offered through NHIF to enable them benefit from the extensive health packages offered under the scheme.
Kericho Governor Prof Paul Chepkwony thanked First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for supporting Kericho County’s health sector through the Beyond Zero initiative.
“The Beyond Zero mobile clinic has transformed the lives of many people in Kericho County,” Prof Chepkwony said.
The Governor cited the example of HIV/AIDS prevalence rate which stood at 5.7 percent when he came to office in 2013 but has now dropped to 2.8 percent.
“And we are not about to stop. We are geared towards zero and we will work together to achieve that goal,” Governor Chepkwony said.
Welcoming the opening of the specialized maternity theatre and neonatal unit, Prof Chepkwony said it will boost delivery of services to the people of Kericho and beyond.
“This is a very important facility to the people of Kericho and particularly the people of Kapkatet,” the Governor said.
Other speakers included Andrew Wemyss Trustee Mrs Grace Nyachae, Deputy Governor Susan Kikwai and the Kericho County Executive Member for Health Dr Shadrack Mutai.