The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will on Tuesday next week (January 26, 2016) launch the 3rd Edition of the Annual First Ladies Half Marathon (FHLM) and unveil the Beyond Zero Campaign Technical Report 2014-15, at a State House, Nairobi.
The high-level event will be attended by senior national and county government officials, diplomats, corporate leaders, civil society and media. Besides featuring testimonials from beneficiaries countrywide, the event will celebrate the unprecedented collaboration of private – public collaboration to address maternal and child death in Kenya.
The breakfast will galvanise collective action to end preventable deaths of women while pregnant or giving birth; eliminate new cases of HIV and AIDS and renew the pledge for better healthcare for every woman and child.
While deliveries in health care facilities have demonstrated a steady improvement of over 60 per cent since 2014, deaths that are preventable still occur at an alarming rate – many infants do not survive to celebrate their first birthday. About 50 per cent of all child deaths are linked to malnutrition.
Three years since the launch First Lady’s Half Marathon in 2014, over 100,000 participants have contributed to raising awareness of the Beyond Zero Campaign which has directly impacted many lives. This year the target is set at 70,000 participants from across the country.
The 3rd Edition FLHM will take place on 6th March 2016 at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi. To date, 36 counties have benefited from the fully kitted clinics with significant impact on maternal and child health at the grassroots.
According to the Beyond Zero secretariat said huge inputs have already been made at national level by county governments, the private sector, national government through the Ministry of Health & its agencies, the UN family, private foundations and bi-lateral donors.
“The First Lady’s unwavering resolve to run these marathons to raise funds for 36 mobile clinics, to date, is an unprecedented act sacrifice and remains the greatest resource mobilisation strategies for the campaign. Running a marathon takes sheer grit and a string of strenuous training,” said the First Coach Douglas Wakiihuri.
The Campaign compliments Kenya’s pledge to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG’s) and the Global Strategy to Women and Children and Adolescent Health. The Initiative also supports Kenya’s developmental blue print, Vision 2030 which in its social pillar seeks to develop a population that is healthy, productive and able to fully participate in and contribute to other sectors of the economy.
Whilst the Beyond Zero Campaign places emphasis on mothers and the new born, keen effort is also placed on highlighting the importance of a holistic focus on families ensuring the full participation and involvement of men.