(PSCU) — First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has called on Kenyans to support initiatives geared towards making provision of universal healthcare a reality.
The First Lady said investing in health is critical in accelerating the country’s development plans.
“Without good health, children cannot live to their full potential. Without good health, a country can not achieve economic growth,” said the First Lady.
The First Lady was speaking at Githunguri in Kiambu County after she laid foundation stones for an ultra-modern level 4 hospital at Bibirioni, Limuru and at Githunguri Health Centre new hospital buildings upgrading the facility into a level 4 hospital.
At Githunguri Health Centre, the First Lady who was accompanied by Governor Ferdinand Waititu, was conducted on a tour of a maternity wing where she was briefed on the services provided at the facility.
The First Lady pointed out that due to its importance, healthcare and access to health services was of great concern to her.
She noted that through the Beyond Zero initiative she has worked closely with County Governments in the last four years to ensure majority of Kenyans access quality healthcare services.
The First Lady also urged Kenyans to enrol in the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and also support the Linda Mama and the social protection programs for the elderly, aimed at improving the health of the citizens.
The First Lady appealed to other stakeholders in the health sector to join hands in the effort to achieve the vision of health for all even as she assured of continued support to women and children.
The First Lady expressed optimism that the two new health facilities in Kiambu County would positively impact the lives of children, women and men in the area.
She pointed out that the upgrading of Githunguri Health centre to a level 4 hospital will provide the much needed services for maternal, theatre and neonatal care as well as offer critical care and surgery services for both the local and neighbouring communities.
“The upgrading of Githunguri Health Centre, is in many ways, long overdue because of the large volumes of people it has served since the health centre was opened over 60 years ago,” said the First Lady.
She commended the County Government for the initiative, saying it will ease the distances patients travel to seek medical services.
“I am especially pleased that women who have had to travel long distances to give birth or take their children to hospital will no longer suffer or spend hard earned money to get to a safe health facility,” said the First lady.
The First Lady noted that the upgrading would not only expand bed capacity but also increase specialized services to mothers and children.
“The modern casualty and emergency unit and the proposed cancer unit will not only address quality care and ensure that timely diagnosis and interventions are met, but will bring us closer to the promise of healthcare for all and leaving no one behind,” she added.
Governor Waititu commended the First Lady for her initiatives aimed at improving the health of Kenyans saying the Beyond Zero mobile clinics have greatly complemented to the county governments initiatives to improve the health of the communities.
He said the expansion of Githunguri Health Centre to level 4 will cost Kshs 800 million, with the county government donating Kshs 300 million while Kshs 500 million will given by the national government.
“ We highly appreciate your work. After two years Githunguri Level 4 Hospital will have a bed capacity of 300. This hospital will also have a cancer center to carter for suffering this terrible disease,” said Governor Waititu.
Health Principal Secretary Peter expressed gratitude to the First Lady saying, her initiatives have contributed to achieving the Governments objectives on access to quality healthcare.
Other speakers included the local Member of Parliament Gabriel Kago wa Lydiah and Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga.