Improvement of maternal health and Reduction of child mortality are among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Having been incorporated into a longer-term national policy framework called Vision 2030 in Kenya, stake holders in the Health sector are doing all they can to ensure these goals become a reality by or before 2030.
According to the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women and Children’s Health 2013 Update Report, in 2012 alone, more than 100 000 children died before their fifth birthday-largely due to preventable causes. In the same year, 13 000 new HIV infections occurred among children and 62% of children living with HIV did not access life-saving antiretroviral drugs.
As a response to this worrying reality, the First Lady of Kenya, Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta launched the ‘Beyond Zero Campaign’ on 24 January 2014 in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. A campaign aimed at reducing maternal and child mortality to zero especially deaths due to preventable causes. Funds are raised through marathons dubbed “Beyond Zero Marathon” and for three years in a row; these marathons have successfully raised awareness and attracted donations both in cash and medical equipment.
The third edition of Beyond Zero Campaign marathon- took place on 6th March 2016. Thousands of Kenyans and non-Kenyans participated in the half marathon, whose proceeds have so far, benefitted 36 out of 47 counties with fully kitted mobile clinics. The marathon also brings together people of different ethnicities, religion and age, all in support of this noble cause by the first lady.
Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital in support of this initiative had its ambulance on standby together with Emergency Medical Services-Red Cross at Nyayo National Stadium which was the venue for the race. World Friends/ Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital have projects related to mother and child health, both in Nairobi North East slums and the vast regions of Kajiado County.
Mrs. Kenyatta has received worldwide recognition for her efforts to reduce mother and child deaths through the marathon and provision of mobile clinics to remote areas of the country. Beyond Zero deaths-a better Kenya.