First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has announced today that her ultimate dream is to set up a state of the art, Beyond Zero Hospital for women and children in Nairobi.
She said the referral hospital project was her next dream even as she continues running the First Lady’s Half Marathons whose third edition is slated for Nyayo National Stadium on March 6, 2016.
“This is my next dream. We need a good hospital for women and children”, said the First Lady who is the patron of the Beyond Zero campaign and who has successfully ran the first two Half Marathons, one in London and the other in Nairobi.
The First Lady spoke at State House when she hosted a group of 21female medical doctors, all of whom graduated from Nairobi University’s Medical School in 1981.
She made the announcement as Kenyans joined the rest of the world in marking the Cancer World Day. Cervical cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in women in low and middle-income countries The disease kills over 250,000 women annually.
The senior female doctors, now in their 60s, have been practicing medicine in various capacities, some locally and others abroad for the last 35 years since they left the medical school.
When they joined the Medical school in 1976, their class of 25 girls represented the largest group of women at that time and pursued medicine against many odds (the field was then reserved for and dominated by men) according Dr Jane Muita who introduced her peers to the First Lady. She is the Deputy Country representative of UNICEF, Zimbambwe.
All the 25 medical students had been admitted to the medical school from three institutions that included Alliance Girls (19) Kenya High School (4) and Limuru Girls High school, 3, said Dr. Muita who trained as a Paediatrician .
Among the 1981 Medical School female Alumnus was Dr. Sidika Wambani who pursued Radiology and is now the Technical expert in radiation prevention at Kenyatta National Hospital. Three of these doctors are professors teaching at the University level.
The union of the female doctors, who also visited the medical school today to motivate the younger medical students is seeking partnership with the First Lady to explore possibilities on how they can engage with the Beyond Zero initiative by sharing their experiences, skills, knowledge and expertise.
“As a group of lady doctors in our different fields of specialisation, and as mothers too, we join all those who believe in a world where every woman, child and young person can not only survive, but should thrive.
“We have a unified vision to end all preventable maternal, new-born, child and adolescent deaths. We have a passion to improve the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents within a generation”, said Ambassador (Dr) Konji Sebati, currently the Chief Executive Officr of Pharmaceutical Association of South Africa.
The lady doctors commended the First Lady for her passion and spirit to improve the lives of women and children in addition to her active role and involvement in the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/ Aids (OAFLA)
“We look forward at supporting you wherever possible”, said Dr Sebati adding that the Beyond Zero initiative and its goals needs the commitment and collaboration of more partners including the private sector, NGOs and professional health associations.
The Chief Executive Officer for AMREF, Dr Githinji Gitahi gave a commitment that organization will liaise with the Ministry of Health to train 400 health workers who will be stationed at all the Mobile clinics with adequate expertise to medical emergencies.
According to the Principal Secretary for Health Dr. Nicholas Muraguri who was present, the 400 medical personnel will be recruited in the next three months and dedicated to provide intensive health care training before joining other health workers currently working in the Beyond Zero Clinics.
Dr Githinji also said AMREF is forming a consortium of consultants expected to respond to medical emergencies across the country through the Flying Doctor Programme. He asked the Lady doctors to join the consortium.