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Big win for Kenya as First Lady Margaret Kenyatta elected to head continental body

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File image of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta being awarded the prestigious Eastern Africa Lifetime Achievement Award

First lady Margaret Kenyatta has been elected to serve as the Vice Chairperson of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA).

The elections which took place in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia saw the first lady clinch the seat unopposed.

OAFLA which was formed in 2002 by African first ladies to advocate for policies that make health services accessible and laws that boost women and youth empowerment.

It implements various advocacy initiatives and interventions in HIV, maternal and child health targeting Africa’s most vulnerable citizens; women and children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.

Mrs. Kenyatta will serve alongside the First Lady of the Republic of Burkina Faso  Adjoavi Sika Kabore who is the current chairperson.

Her beyond zero campaign has been hailed as a success story, receiving accolades globally for its role in reducing child mortality and HIV infections.

The initiative saw her win the prestigious Eastern Africa Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 in recognition of her efforts to stop preventable maternal and newborn deaths through her ‘Beyond Zero’ initiative.

Among those who have acknowledged the tremendous achievements of First lady Margaret Kenyatta are UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe and US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Deputy Coordinator Mamadi Yilla.

Celebrating achievements of the ‘Beyond Zero Campaign’

Sidibe paid glowing tribute to the first lady for the impressive effort towards reducing child mortality and HIV infections stating that she has “been an inspiring champion to women and girls, not only in Kenya but other countries. Your humility is also exemplary”.

Through her ‘Beyond Zero’ Campaign, the First Lady has demonstrated that public–private partnerships can go a long way in supporting improvement of the health status of women and children.

“To date, we have delivered seven (7) fully kitted mobile clinics to Taita Taveta, Narok, Isiolo, Homa Bay, Wajir, Baringo and Samburu counties. These are Counties that have some of the highest maternal and newborn mortality rates in the country,” she said.

The initiative seeks to ensure that each of the 47 counties has a fully-equipped mobile clinic to ensure no ‘more women die while giving life and no more babies die from preventable causes’.

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