10th May 2019… H.E Margaret Kenyatta, the First Lady of the Republic has launched the first National Strategic Framework for Prevention and Management of Obstetric Fistula, which provides the platform to achieve the Vision of “A Fistula free Kenyan Nation” during the Beyond Zero Medical Safari in West Pokot.
The Framework sets the stage for beating up Fistula, one of the most debilitating conditions that women face. It provides the platform to achieve the Vision of “A Fistula free Kenyan Nation”. It is building on existing work and is an important tool to guide the development of new and innovative policies and approaches.
Speaking during the Beyond Zero Medical Safari, which attracted over 5,000 beneficiaries, the First Lady lauded the efforts by the various partners in launching the three critical documents and re-affirmed Beyond Zero’s commitment to create awareness on prevention, repair and re-integration of women with obstetric fistulae.
The Framework was developed by the Ministry of Health through the Reproductive and Maternal Health Services Unit (RMHSU), UNFPA and Amref Health Africa as an urgent response to the burden of obstetric fistula in the country. It is the outcome of wide consultation with stakeholders, including national and county governments, non-government organizations, health professionals and people with fistula and their families.
The First Lady also launched a fistula training curriculum for health care workers and a training manual to screen for community health workers. It is estimated that fistula occurrence in Kenya stands at 3 to 4 women for every 1,000 deliveries, an estimated 1,000 new cases each year. Most of the affected poor women are young and have inadequate access to quality skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth.
The Beyond Zero medical safari, which is an initiative by Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, was a great success and aimed to provide integrated and specialized healthcare to Kenyans through free screening, treatment and referral services.
The safari is now on the third leg following successful camps in Narok and Kisumu counties, which attracted 5,000 and 6,000 beneficiaries respectively. Services offered during the safari included: fistula repair, screening for cervical, breast and prostate cancer, eye care clinic for elderly persons, orthopaedic clinic for children, screening for diabetes and hypertension, HIV counseling and testing, immunization and checkup for pregnant mothers.
Others were Linda Mama registration for pregnant women, assessment and registration for children with disabilities and NHIF membership registration. To provide free screening, treatment and referral services, Beyond Zero will be partnering with Philips, AMREF Health Africa, Oxygen 8, Ahadi Kenya Trust, Women4Cancer, Beth Mugo Cancer Foundation, Kisii Eye Hospital, UNFPA, AMPATH, Fistula Foundation, Wadadia, KNBTS, NHIF, Linda Mama, Kenya Medical Training College, AIC-CURE International Hospital in Kijabe, Vision Springs, NASCOP, Airtel among others.
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