Dr. Martin Sirengo, Deputy Director of Medical Services, National Aids and STI Control program and a 2nd year Master in Public Policy and Management student was granted an honorary award during the 2017 Beyond Zero Summit. The honorary award appreciated Dr. Sirengo’s Technical support towards the implementation of the strategic framework for HIV control and promotion of maternal, new born and child health from 2013 – 2017.
In January 2014, Beyond Zero Foundation was formed to partner with the government in reducing maternal and child mortality, spearheaded by the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta. The Beyond Zero campaign is part of the initiatives outlined in her strategic framework towards HIV control, promotion of maternal, new born and child health in Kenya.
“The control of HIV transmission especially from Mother to Child, revolves around expectant or breastfeeding women who are infected. So, to control the spread of new infections, one needs a platform or facility, where these women can go and get the proper care they require. It is within this set-up that medical practitioners are able to guide infected women on how to prevent the transmission to their new born, as well as put them under medication.” Said Dr. Sirengo.
The campaign has acquired and launched 32 Beyond Zero mobile clinics. The goal is to see to it that all 47 counties in Kenya receive a mobile clinic, which is especially beneficial to mothers and children. Through these clinics, women will have access to quick and quality healthcare for themselves and their children at no cost.
“We launched the elimination of Mother to Child Transmission strategy in 2012, with an aim of reducing the number of new infections among children to less than 5,000 between 2012 and 2015. During that time, we received a 40% reduction from 27,000 new infections per year to just about 16,000 in the first year of the three-yearlong strategy. I am humbled to have led the team that realised the implementation of that strategy.”
Elated Dr. Sirengo acknowledges the relevance of the Masters in Public Policy Program in equipping him with the necessary tools to implement the strategic framework for HIV control and promotion of maternal health. “The Masters in Public Policy and Management Program is one that I would recommend to all Public Policy practitioners because it is transformational. You get to learn quite a lot on how to manage human resource, strategic planning and management, negotiations, conflict and peace building, all that which are crucial in our jobs. As we speak, we have recorded a 75% reduction of new infections. Currently, there are only 6,000 new infections which is a reduction from over 27,000 new infections before the Beyond Zero initiative.”
Click here to read about the Masters in Public Policy Program. 2017 September intake currently ongoing.