This morning, Chelsea Clinton traveled to the Mbagathi District Hospital to view the work of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in promoting Zinc/ORS to treat diarrhea. Diarrhea is the second biggest cause of death among children worldwide, and is easily treatable through a regimen of Zinc and Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). Zinc & ORS can prevent over 90 percent of diarrhea-related deaths and cost less than US$0.50 per child.
CHAI works in Kenya to increase access to and use of Zinc/ORS. CHAI partners with the government and local stakeholders to execute an ambitious, large-scale approach that breaks the market trap by simultaneously building demand for Zinc/ORS and ensuring widespread availability in public and private facilities, particularly in rural areas.
Chelsea first visited the pediatric outpatient department where Monica Otieno and other health care professionals manage sick children under five years of age, including those who suffer from diarrhea. Chelsea saw an Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) corner where children with some or no dehydration are treated using Zinc and ORS, and mothers are given instructions on how to prevent diarrhea at home and how to administer Zinc/ORS to children. From there, Chelsea visited the clinic's pharmacy, where the pharmacist showed her the clinic's stock of Zinc/ORS co-pack and explained how the treatment is dispensed to mothers. Chelsea then visited the pediatric in-patient ward where children with severe dehydration are admitted and treated. She then took a photo with the clinic staff.
After that visit, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton met with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. President Clinton and President Kenyatta discussed the work of the Clinton Foundation in Kenya, specifically regarding HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, prevention and treatment of childhood diarrhea, and forestry and climate change.
From there, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton went to a No Ceilings Conversation held at the Farasi Lane School in Mitini, Nairobi. The Farasi Lane School is part of a CGI Commitment to Action, CHARGE – Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls’ Education. CHARGE is a collaboration of more than 30 companies, civil society organizations, multilaterals and governments to improve learning and leadership opportunities for young women and girls. This collective effort has committed over $600 million dollars to reach 14 million girls over five years.
President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton first took a tour of the school, led by its principal, Madame Owaka, and saw a lesson by a teacher at the school. They then toured the school's garden with two students, Gideon and Brenda, and heard about the different kinds of plants, herbs, and fruits that they grow.
At the event, Chelsea Clinton addressed the progress that has been made in getting girls into primary education, noting that for every 100 boys in primary education worldwide, 96 girls were enrolled. However, she noted, that globally we lag in participation of women and girls in secondary education, and that more needs to be done to help girls transition from primary to secondary schools.
During the event, President Clinton was seated next to Prof. Judi W. Wakhungu, the Environment Secretary of Kenya. President Clinton closed the program by speaking about the importance of not restricting women and girls' opportunities. He called up Wanjira Maathai, the daughter of Green Belt Movement Founder and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai. Wanjira is the Chair of the Green Belt Movement and Project Leader, Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace & Environmental Studies. President Clinton pointed to Wanjira and her mother as examples of women who have made a difference in the world, and asked the audience to consider that the world misses out on individuals like Wanjira and Wangari when they restrict the potential of women and girls by limiting their opportunities for education.
Pictures from today’s visit can be found here.
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