The Co-operative Bank has today presented a Ksh15 million cheque to the First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, towards the third edition of the First Lady’s Half Marathon (FLHM) 2016. The Ksh15 million donation will support flagship fundraising event of the Beyond Zero Initiative for Maternal and Child Healthcare.
Co-operative Bank Group Managing Director Dr Gideon Muriuki commended the First Lady for her unyielding efforts to improve the lives of Kenyan mothers and children. The marathon will be held on March 6, 2016, to raise awareness and galvanise support in combating maternal and childhood mortality.
This is the third contribution that the bank is making towards the FLHM, having sponsored the event with Sh12 million last year. It donated Ksh10 million in 2014 for the purchase of a mobile clinic for Narok County.
While deliveries in health care facilities have demonstrated a steady improvement of over 60% since 2014, deaths that are preventable still occur at an alarming rate – many infants do not survive to celebrate their first birthday. Over 5,500 women die in Kenya annually due to pregnancy and birth-related complications.
In the same year, there were over 13,000 new HIV infections among children, of whom 62 per cent did not access life-saving medication. Since launching this initiative in 2014, the First Lady has collaborated with diverse partners and multi-sectoral stakeholders, locally and internationally.
This year, the race targets to register 70,000 participants. The campaign launched in January 2014 targets to purchase 47 fully kitted mobile clinics for all counties. Since the campaign began, 36 fully kitted mobile clinics have been purchased and distributed to various counties.
Mr Muriuki urged other organisations and Kenyans of goodwill to join hands with the First Lady towards this campaign. “Together we have run and raised money to secure 36 mobile facilities, designed to reach populations in remote areas, said Douglas Wakiihuri, the First Coach.
The Beyond Zero Campaign Initiative is a unique and first Public-Private Partnership initiative of this scale focusing on maternal, neo-natal and child health including HIV prevention, treatment and care.