SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU MUIGAI KENYATTA C.G.H.

, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE NEWLY CONSTRUCTED MEDICAL WARDS AND LAYING OF THE FOUNDATION STONE FOR THE NEW SERVICE WING AT GATUNDU LEVEL IV HOSPITAL IN KIAMBU COUNTY, ON 13THAUGUST 2013

I am delighted to join all of you on this occasion when we lay the foundation stone for the construction of a new service wing of Gatundu Level IV Hospital. At the same time, we open the hospital's newly constructed medical ward. These projects will expand the hospital's facilities, enabling more people to access medical services and improving overall healthcare provision by the Government. I am well acquainted with the Gatundu area, and can confirm that it is a typical rural Kenyan constituency, with typical opportunities and challenges. A project like this, in a place like this, is therefore a golden intervention in the context of service delivery to the grassroots. On behalf of the people of Gatundu, and the nation of Kenya, I thank the Government of the People's Republic of China most sincerely for funding this project. The choice of project assistance and manner of delivery shows your spirit of true partnership based on mutual interests and priorities. Your Excellency, kindly convey our sincere appreciation to your Government. Healthcare forms a primary component of the Social Pillar of the Kenya Vision 2030, which is aimed at ensuring that Kenya becomes a prosperous, middle-income industrial society within the next two decades. Universal healthcare is therefore a cardinal developmental goal for us. Moreover, we have committed under the Abuja Declaration to progressively work towards allocating a minimum of 15% of the national budget to healthcare in order to escalate health sector interventions. This is why the contributions of our development partners towards complementing Government initiatives in this area are critical and highly appreciated.

Kenya and China continue to enjoy cordial relations. This has expanded the areas of mutual cooperation, leading to increased trade between our two nations, and enhanced development partnership in the area of infrastructure development both within and outside the health sector. The construction of the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Nairobi, the Thika Superhighway and the work on the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, are some of the projects successfully undertaken through the assistance of the People of China.The project at hand is one further testimony to this relationship. My Government will work to strengthen the bilateral ties between China and Kenya for the mutual benefit of our people. The Jubilee Government pledged to achieve free primary healthcare for all Kenyans, starting with women, expectant and breast-feeding mothers and persons living with disability. To achieve this, we committed to enhance budgetary financing and increase the number of physical facilities at the community level, including the provision of mobile clinics. We have guaranteed that every family shall have access to a fully equipped health centre within 5 kilometres of their home, and undertaken to upgrade and equip previous provincial hospitals to referral status supported by a network of County referral facilities. It is our intention to discharge these pledges. Already, my Government has delivered by making adequate budgetary arrangements to facilitate provision to all expectant mothers of free maternity services in all public health facilities. This took effect on 1st June, 2013, and user fees previously charged at these centres have also been abolished. As intended, these measures have led to a significant increase in the number of mothers seeking ante-natal and maternity services in our health facilities. More importantly, this access dramatically reduces maternal and infant mortality brought about by complications arising due to lack of professional attention. The Jubilee Coalition is also committed to improving funding for medical research and pay packages for doctors and health practitioners.

The attainment of Kenya Vision 2030 will benefit all Kenyans wherever they are. Similarly, the achievement of those goals is a collective national endeavour. This requires every Kenyan to apply themselves to the work of Nation Building. We must let our patriotism manifest itself in true endeavour. We have to join hands in unity and see through our common challenge.I call on every Kenyan, therefore, to work consciously, knowing that a job well done is another step towards developing Kenya. As I conclude, I once more appreciate with much gratitude the People's Republic of China for their continued friendship, and their commitment in this project. I look forward to working with them in many other projects in future. It is now my pleasure to declare the new medical wards of Gatundu Level IV Hospital officially opened. I also officially launch the commencement of construction works on the new Service Wing of Gatundu Level IV Hospital. Thank you and God bless you.

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