NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – Capital FM has been recognised for its role in mobilising Kenyans to raise Sh30 million this year for heart operations for underprivileged children in the annual Mater Heart Run.
Speaking during the award presentation at the Capital FM offices, Mater Hospital Chief Executive Officer John Muriithi lauded the partnership, which he says has seen the charity event grow in stature over time.
“Capital FM has been a key radio and media supporter for the last several years, as a result of this support we have grown the Mater Heart Run from a situation where we were raising a net of about Sh10 million five years ago, to well over Sh33 million this year,” he said.
The first open heart surgery at Mater Hospital was performed in 1996. To date, over 700 heart operations and 750 cardiac catheterisations have been carried out.
Dr Muriithi added: “This increase has been year on year and it’s very much attributable to the media support we get from Capital FM. In fact as a result of this, other media houses have come on board.”
The Run was set up 10 years ago to support over 100 children with heart conditions get specialised heart operations through funds raised from the Mater Heart Run.
Dr Muriithi said that with more than 56 percent of Kenyans living below the poverty line, access to basic healthcare, let alone cardiac treatment, remains an uphill task.
Even for the middle-income group, Dr Muriithi says the cost of correcting a cardiac ailment is too expensive and rarely covered by normal medical insurance covers.
The cost of operation stands at Sh600,000.
Capital Group General Manager Cyrus Kamau said the company would continue supporting such initiatives.
“We must appreciate the support that our listeners have given to this initiative, because anytime we called on them they come forward and have given their donation and sacrificed their Saturday mornings to take part in the Run. It is all to them that we can receive this recognition,” he said.
“It is a big achievement for the organization and we will continue to support those events that touch Kenyans because by helping a child you are building a future. That’s why as a station we will continue to commit ourselves to make sure that these events and others continue and become bigger and better.”
Last year more than 25,000 people took part raising Sh25.7 million that in support of 210 children.