Turn up for cancer screening, First Lady urges women, girls

Friday, January 24th, 2020 00:00 |
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (centre) with outgoing Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki and KMTC boss Michael Kiptoo during the launch of the fifth edition of Beyond Zero Medical Safari at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/Phillip Kamakya

George Kebaso, Robert Ochoro, and PSCU

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta yesterday appealed to women and girls to go for cervical cancer screening as she launched a three-day free medical camp at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park.

Up to 6,000 women and girls in the city are targeted for free screening during the camp that coincides with the commemoration of the world’s cervical cancer month.

The First Lady said cervical cancer has become a major health concern in many families, adding that it has significant social and economic implications.

“January is the month when globally, and as a country, we escalate our call for the elimination of cervical cancer,” she said.

She urged women to take advantage of the free screening, noting that early detection is critical in managing the disease.

Free services

The camp is the fifth in the ongoing Beyond Zero Medical Safari series, organised in conjunction with the Nairobi County Government and supported by 15 medical providers offering an array of free medical services.

“The Beyond Zero Medical Safari is a large scale outreach programme that complements national health efforts. The safaris have travelled across the country providing free medical services to various communities,” she said.

“They serve to advance our joint pledge and commitment to be at the forefront in championing health issues,” she added.

As part of the ongoing national efforts to achieve World Health Organisation (WHO) target of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis, the First Lady led Nairobi County in launching eMTCT Business plan, an operational plan for elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

The First Lady further announced plans to start a programme known as “Tulinde Kizazi Jijini” to guide the City County in the delivery of health services. 

“I wish to encourage Nairobi County to commit to and invest resources towards our shared goal of zero new mother-to-child HIV infections,” she said, adding that Beyond Zero Medical Safaris had helped lessen health burden of thousands of households across the country.

“We have already been to Narok, West Pokot, Kisumu and Nyandarua counties and now we are in Nairobi.” 

Earlier, the First Lady was at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital where she visited obstetric fistula patients undergoing reconstructive surgeries. 

Since Saturday the hospital in conjunction with Amref Health Africa have been conducting reconstructive surgeries to women with obstetric fistula. 

So far, 17 reconstructive surgeries have been done and the hospital expects to undertake a total of 50 surgeries by the end of the camp. At the hospital, the First Lady also opened the kangaroo mother care wing in which pre-term babies are nursed.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki and Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng commended the First Lady for championing the well-being of vulnerable members of the society through her initiatives.

In Kisii, County Director of Health Services Geoffrey Otomu lauded the First Lady for her initiative, saying it had affiliated screening and treatment  of women who would have otherwise not afforded the services.

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