First Lady roots for war against alcohol abuse

Source: PSCU

Sunday, November 16th 2014

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has called on Kiambu County leaders to urgently address excessive alcohol consumption and substance abuse, which reportedly expose the youth to HIV and Aids.

The First Lady said sustainable development would only be realised if the youth are in good health and remain strong enough to contribute to nation building.

She spoke at Mirithu Girls’ Secondary School grounds, Limuru when she presented the 11th fully kitted Beyond Zero mobile clinic to Kiambu County Government, yesterday.

She said: “There is evidence that Kiambu County bears a heavy HIV burden. As at the end of 2013, the county had 46,656 people living with the virus, of which, nine per cent were children”.

The First Lady added: “Of concern, is that women bear the greatest burden and have a HIV prevalence rate almost three times to that of men”.

The First Lady urged county governments to use the mobile clinics for the benefit of mothers and children.

She encouraged Kiambu County leadership to mobilise resources in support of health initiatives targeting women and children.

“Initiatives such as the Ministry of Health’s ‘Malezi Bora’ strategy, a sector-wide approach that targets children under the age of five, expectant women and breastfeeding mothers need your full support,” she said.

The First Lady also challenged county governments to formulate and implement health strategic plans to ensure access to quality and affordable healthcare for Kenyans.

“I congratulate Kiambu County for being the first in the country to launch its Health Strategic Plan aimed at ensuring access to quality health care for residents at a reasonable cost,” she said.

She noted that the pressure exerted on health services in Kiambu by the many workers from the neighbouring counties, calls for proper planning and forecasting on future demand and uptake of health services.

“Kiambu enjoys relatively more advanced health services because of well-developed infrastructure. The county’s proximity to Nairobi also provides a comparative advantage for those seeking health services due to easy access to facilities in the city” said the First Lady.

She lauded private investors in the health sector for supplementing government efforts in provision of health services through a sound Public-Private Partnership.

She also encouraged Kenyans to continue training for the second edition of the First Lady’s Half Marathon slated for March 8 next year

Great athletes

“I expect a strong team from Kiambu, a county that has nurtured and trained great athletes such as Paul Maina, the winner of the 2012 Mombasa International Marathon, and James Njoroge,” she said.

Governor William Kabogo said the county government has set aside Sh300 million this financial year to enable women and youth access loans to start income-generating activities.

The Governor urged parents to encourage their children to take advantage of the national and county government funds to start businesses to sustain themselves.

Kabogo said financial independent could help keep the youth off vices that end up destroying their lives.

Others who spoke included Heath Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and local leaders.

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