Embrace hand washing culture to avert neonatal deaths, first lady urges...

Embrace hand washing culture to avert neonatal deaths, first lady urges Kenyans

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First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: First lady Margret Kenyatta has urged Kenyans to embrace hand washing culture to avert detrimental diseases which leads to neonatal deaths.

Speaking during the launch of a campaign dubbed “Help child reach 5”in Nairobi ,the first lady urged private sector to continue with such initiatives to complement her Beyond zero campaign; so as to improve access of health care across the country.

“Handwashing with soap is an incredibly effective way to keep a community healthy.If all mothers ,health workers and care takers adopt hand washing with soaps during the critical neonatal period ,we will improve the health of future generations of Kenyans by reducing preventable child deaths due to diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia.” She said.

According to UNFPA and Amref health Africa ,more than 34,000 newborn babies die each year within their first months of birth which is a replica to mothers whom close to 5,000 die annually during neonatal period.

Amref Group CEO Githinji Gitahi said on Friday that partners of this campaign will involve community health volunteers to facilitate in monitoring health at house hold level and provision of life saving information as a measure of realizing their achievements .

The joint partnership between The Kenya National Government, County Government of Migori, Lifebuoy, AMREF and UNFPA; will offer training programmes to health volunteers, who will in turn educate new mothers on simple preventive measures such as hand washing with soap and the importance to deliver at a clinic with skilled care available.

The commitment to change handwashing behaviors with  soap is targeting 12 million Kenyans by 2020.

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The campaign will kick off from July 2016 in Migori county.

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