A unique parade by over 250 seronegative babies brought out the best and motherly personality of the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta when she hosted Beyond Zero advocates, champions and partners on Tuesday.
Touched by the innocence, beauty and charm of the babies born of HIV positive mothers , the First Lady mingled freely and warmly cuddled some of the toddlers, personally fed them with cakes as an expression of motherly love and affection .
For the First Lady, the Beyond Zero Summit at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, was the pinnacle of success for the initiative whose key pillars include the elimination of Mother-To-Child (HIV)Transmission (eMTCT).
The other pillars are maternal health, child survival and the promotion of leadership and accountability.
The parade of the babies, all declared HIV negative by medical doctors, was a live testimony that Beyond Zero advocacy and sensitization campaigns to save motherhood, irrespective of HIV status, had started bearing fruits.
During the Kasarani Summit, the First Lady who doubles as the patron of the initiative could not hide her pride over the successes of the campaign when the 250 babies formed a match-past on the dias to salute the chief champion of the campaign.
And the First Lady did not disappoint when she saluted back, smiling warmly with admiration to the children before mingling with the toddlers and their mothers to the jubilation of the over 2000 Beyond Zero champions, advocates and Diplomats at the Kasarani indoor stadium.
Despite being HIV positive ,the mothers were able to give birth to Aids-free children through pre-natal medication and assistance during labour-largely because of the advocacy and high-level sensitization enhanced by Beyond Zero through its Mobile clinics distributed by the First Lady to all the 47 clinics.
"It is also encouraging to see the children sitting here who provide clear testimony that access to health services even in remote, hard to reach locations is possible", said the First Lady after the parade of the babies .
Buoyed by the successes of the initiative-whose impressive scorecard she presented at the summit-the First Lady launched a revised Kenya Framework for the Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission (eMTCT) of HIV and Syphilis (2016-2021).
She also launched a new mother-baby hardbook to be used by health workers across all health institutions aimed at save motherhood.
The summit brought together Diplomats from nine countries, the UN-family, policy makers, leaders from both levels of government, mothers and children.
The UN-family represented by UNAIDS Country Director Dr Jacobi Jantine said if the Beyond Zero sustains the current momentum Kenya will soon be on its path to become a "save heaven" for young mothers, children and adolescents where motherhood is enjoyed and children born Aids-Free.