Margaret Kenyatta, Kenya’s First Lady launched a new model of delivering health services dubbed Medical Safaris in which a large array of medical service providers will come together to offer specialized services to the public at designated locations.
The new program which is a section of the enhanced Beyond Zero Initiative, is part of the ongoing efforts geared towards achieving Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC), a key component of the Government’s Big 4 development agenda.
Addressing Narok residents who thronged Narok Stadium in their hundreds to receive the specialized medical services, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta expressed her confidence that the Medical Safaris initiative will enhance the Government’s agenda for universal healthcare by providing access to all Kenyans. She pointed out that the Beyond Zero initiative is committed to contributing to the President’s vision for universal healthcare by conducting medical safaris around the country.
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.
At the same event, the First Lady, who is also the national champion for health, launched Narok County’s Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission (eMTCT) of HIV and Syphilis Plan that will contribute towards fast-tracking pre-validation of eMTCT. She expressed optimism that with shared conviction and solid partnerships, Kenya will achieve its goal of a healthy nation.
The Medical Safaris which at the core of the First Lady’s Beyond Zero 2ndStrategic Framework (2018-2022) that is anchored on the principle of leaving no one behind and adopts a life-cycle approach targeting pregnant women and newborns, infants and children, adolescents and young people, men, older persons and children with disabilities, and intends to increase the number of people with health coverage from the current 16.53 million to 25.74 million.
The integrated medical safaris program will be implemented in collaboration with County Governments to enhance synergy towards universal healthcare and catalyze action towards strategic partnerships across counties, communities, the private sector and other Government agencies.
Sicily Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary for Health speaking at the event, commended the First Lady for catalyzing sustained dialogue on maternal and child healthcare, as well as elimination of mother-to-child transmissions. The Health Cabinet Secretary said the First Lady’s efforts have greatly contributed to increased awareness and sustained resource investment towards maternal and child healthcare.
“With the launch of the First Lady’s Beyond Zero Medical Safaris we can only be optimistic of scaling greater heights. We all join you in appreciating that maternal, newborn and child health is the gateway to family health, Universal Health Coverage and a wealthy nation.”