On 29th November, DSW joined other partners in lending support to the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta during launch of the 14th mobile clinic in Mombasa County. Only slightly more than 50% of HIV positive pregnant women in Mombasa county attend the four recommended antenatal visits which heightens the risk of mother to child transmission of HIV. Additionally, persons injecting drugs and sex workers have HIV prevalence, which is two to three times higher than the national average. DSW has several projects targeting focusing on maternal and child health, the latest being the “Together for Mothers and Children” project which kicked off in November with funding from the European Union.
The ‘Beyond Zero Campaign’ was launched on 24 January 2014 in order to improve maternal and child health outcomes in the country. The initiative also aims to accelerate the implementation of the national plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children. It aims at equipping each of the 47 counties with a fully equipped mobile clinic to deliver essential services such as vaccination, ante natal care, HIV testing and treatment especially to those who don’t have easy access to health facilities. DSW will also be involved in such activities in Bangladesh and Maweni slums under the Together for Mother’s and Children project.
The ‘Beyond Zero campaign’ is part of the initiatives outlined in the Strategic Framework for the engagement of the First Lady in HIV control and promotion of maternal, newborn and child health in Kenya that was unveiled on World AIDS Day 2013. The framework aims to galvanise high-level leadership in ending new HIV infections among children and reducing HIV related deaths among women and children in Kenya.
The strategic framework focuses on five key areas:
- Accelerating HIV programmes
- Influencing investment in high impact activities to promote maternal and child health and HIV control
- Mobilizing men as clients, partners and agents of change
- Involving communities to address barriers to accessing HIV, maternal and child health services
- Providing leadership, accountability and recognition to accelerate the attainment of HIV, maternal and child health targets.