Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta flies to Netherlands to join world leaders in combating HIV/AIDS

Fifteen women die every day due to pregnancy-related complications in Kenya and 20% of all deaths among mothers in the country are AIDS-related.

  • First Lady, Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta landed at the Schiphol International Airport on Sunday morning ahead of the International AIDS Conference scheduled for July 23-27 in Amsterdam.
  • The biennial AIDS conference, now in its 22nd year, is the world’s largest meeting on any single global health issue and is being hosted at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre.
  • Fifteen women die every day due to pregnancy-related complications in Kenya and 20% of all deaths among mothers in the country are AIDS-related.

She landed at the Schiphol International Airport on Sunday morning and was accompanied by acting Charge d’Affaires to the Netherlands Ms Rose Sumbeiywo among other Kenyan Embassy staff, ahead of the International AIDS Conference scheduled for July 23-27 in Amsterdam.

The biennial AIDS conference, now in its 22nd year, is the world’s largest meeting on any single global health issue and is being hosted at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre.

The theme of the conference is “Breaking barriers: Building bridges”, and carrying everybody on board in the health sector. The theme is in line with the global Universal Health Care (UHC) system and one of President Kenyatta’s big 4 agenda pillar.

President Kenyatta is keen to ensure every Kenya has universal healthcare among ensuring that Kenyans enjoy affordable housing, food security and boost the economy through manufacturing in his second and last term in office.

Last month, the government allocated Sh400 billion ($4 billion) to the realization of the Big Four agenda.

Since coming in office in 2013, the first lady quickly proved herself as one of the strongest advocates of better health care in Kenya and her passion and sheer dedication may have influenced the President and her husband to focus on healthcare in his second term.

She founded beyond zero campaign, a campaign meant to improve maternal and child care and ensure no mother dies while giving birth, in January 2014.

“I am deeply saddened by the fact that women and children in our country die from causes that can be avoided. It doesn’t have to be this way,” said Ms Kenyatta. “This is why I am launching the ‘Beyond Zero Campaign’ which will bring prenatal and postnatal medical treatment to women and children in our country.”

In April 2014, she made history by becoming the first lady in the world to run and complete the 42 kilometre London marathon in an effort to raise funds for her “Beyond Zero” campaign.

She finished the race in 07:05:28 hours and was met at the finishing line by jubilant fans and family members led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta.

The first lady is attending the conference as the patron of the highly successful Beyond Zero initiative whose mandate include HIV/AIDS control and the promotion of maternal, newborn and child health.

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