First Lady Margaret Kenyatta meets Belgian Queen, Chinese envoy

by Amref Health Africa

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has held talks with Queen Mathilde of Belgium who paid her a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.

The First Lady and Queen Mathilde discussed ways of increasing access to education and healthcare services, especially for disadvantaged communities.

The First Lady shared with the Belgian Queen her Beyond Zero vision for a healthy Kenya, saying the initiative has seen the distribution of 52 fully equipped mobile clinics across the country as part of ongoing concerted efforts to take healthcare services closer to the people.

“We have now embarked on an outreach programme through our Beyond Zero Medical Safaris where people receive free medical care for a wide range of diseases at medical camps,” the First Lady informed the Queen.

The First Lady said she is spearheading efforts to ensure expectant mothers have increased access to healthcare services from skilled health workers to eliminate cases of fistula.

On education, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta briefed the Queen on the Pupils Reward Scheme (PURES), a unique mentorship project initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta to motivate pupils from across the country to work hard in their studies and instil in them a sense of patriotism, discipline and direction.

Queen Mathilde, who is in the country for a three-day visit on a UNICEF mission to raise awareness about the problems of education and children in difficult circumstances, briefed the First Lady of her visit to Kakuma in Turkana County where she toured the Kakuma refugee camp, the Kalobeyei Early Childhood Centre and the Kalobeyei Primary School set up by UNICEF and UNHCR.

The Queen, who is the Honorary Chair of UNICEF Belgium, said she also visited the Dagoretti AMREF Child Development Centre and the Korogocho informal settlement in Nairobi county where she had a first hand experience of the education needs of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Speaking during the meeting, UNICEF Kenya Representative Maniza Zaman commended the First Lady for championing children and maternal healthcare in the country.

Ms Zaman indicated that her organization is exploring ways of working with Beyond Zero initiative, saying health and education complement each other.

At a separate function at State House, Nairobi, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng assured First Lady Margaret Kenyatta of his embassy’s continued support for the Beyond Zero initiative.

Ambassador Wu said he is exploring a partnership that will see Kenyan doctors and nurses trained in China.

“Delighted to have met and held discussions with the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng at State House, who assured me of his Government’s continued support to the Beyond Zero initiative as we partner together towards improving healthcare for all Kenyans across the country.” First Lady

The envoy offered to send Chinese medical teams to participate in the Beyond Zero Medical Safaris, saying his Government also fully supports Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda.

The First Lady thanked China for the support to the Beyond Zero initiative, especially the provision of office equipment.

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