Margaret Kenyatta: Together we can make a difference!

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BY HER EXCELLENCY MARGARET KENYATTA

My name is Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, a mother to three lovely children and I can say without hesitation that it is unbelievably moving to hold your healthy baby in your arms.

This knowledge, that you hold the future of your family, the community and ultimately of this nation in your hands, is priceless. Yet many women may never get this chance. For them, the experience of childbirth is one filled with fear, pain, sorrow and even death.

Should they survive the delivery, they are frightened that their baby is going to die, that their baby will not make it past the first few weeks of its life or even their first day. It breaks my heart knowing that these mothers and children do not have to suffer or die.
It would be unfair to say that nothing has been done to save Kenyan mothers and children. However, we must do more. Every birth promises a better, brighter future. As women, we hold a very strategic and powerful position.

Realizing that this change starts with me, I have launched the Beyond Zero Campaign. This campaign aims at creating awareness and raising funds to tackle issues that affect maternal and child health issues and mother to child transmission of HIV. Mothers and children are suffering and dying in our country from avoidable causes – pneumonia, malaria, diarrhoea and HIV transmitted from their mothers. This saddens me as a mother and I know that it saddens you too. Together we can make a difference!

We have all heard the numbers; every year, thousands of women die from pregnancy complications and thousands of children under the age of five die from preventable diseases. The World Bank states that out of every 100,000 live births in the developing world, 360 mothers will die, and they will never get to hold their babies.

These women are our fellow Kenyan sisters. And, out of 1,000 children under the age of five, 73 children will never make it. To give you an even grimmer picture, in 2012 alone, 100,000 children under the age of five died.

These are not just statistics, it is our fellow Kenyan sisters and children who die largely as a result of pregnancy and HIV related complications that are preventable. This campaign seeks to prevent and reduce mother to child HIV transmission and HIV related deaths, to ensure that maternal and child health care is a priority, that mothers get pre-natal and post-natal care and that we are all invested in saving lives.

To this end I have decided to challenge myself to do something that I have never done. On the 9th of March this year, I will host the inaugural First Lady’s Half Marathon. I will run to make a difference. I will run for the possibility of a healthy generation that is HIV-free, for the elimination of HIV transmission from mother to child.

I will run to raise funds to increase access to better health care through mobile clinics that will bring services closer to Kenyans. I will run to keep mothers and newborns alive. As I run, I will be thinking how every mother needs to see her children grow up and how devastating and heart breaking it is for a mother to lose her child. I will be thinking of the children left without a mother because they could not access proper health care.

I will run because I am a mother, and I believe motherhood is a blessing not just to a woman, but to a nation. I will run because every mother should be able to hold her baby and take her baby home, and that baby should live to be strong and have many more birthdays. I will run until we go Beyond Zero. No more preventable deaths of mothers and children.

I cannot do this alone. The Beyond Zero Campaign has so far raised funds for five mobile clinics. We need more. I call on you, my Kenyan brothers and sisters, my Kenyan family. I ask you to partner with me in this worthy cause, to run beside me, to be the champions of change for women and children. I know that on my own I may not be able to do much, but as a nation we can win this battle to save our mothers and children from unnecessary deaths. Even the loss of one is too much.

The greatest compliment to a nation is strong, healthy citizens. Join me in running for the survival of our mothers and children and ultimately for the health of Kenya.

So run with me; form a team; train in a group in your neighbourhood, run with your spouse, your family, your children; join me for the First Lady’s Half Marathon, 9th March 2014. We WILL win this battle.

(Margaret Kenyatta is Kenya’s First Lady @FirstLadyKenya @BeyondZeroKenya #RunWithTheFirstLady)

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  • Supuchick

    This is EXCELLENT Leadership Madame 1st Lady… To lead by example, and from the front! Is there an ‘official’ page where we can get more info about registration, routes and timings of the marathon? I plan to be there, to lend my support as a woman, for you and all those women and children who’s deaths are unnecessary and a big loss to our growing and wonderful Nation. Kazi iendele…

  • AGI

    you can make a difference by urging your husband to give back some of his stolen land, lower the brookside milk prices and release some of your billion dollar wealth to the poor.

    • Ann.

      its shame how heartless this comment is, you must be one sick and evil being… do something in your community and from there you will understand theres power in giving back.. atleast shes doing something. Lets try and focus on a positive move that our first lady has started, its health for our children and mothers for Gods sake.

    • samuel gatheru

      jinga hii if buying land and property is stealing then we are all thives this is criminal talk and should be prosectuted

    • samuel gatheru

      jinga hii if buying land and property is stealing then we are all thieves your post is dangerously crimnal and should be investigated your source of information is as sick as you

  • Guest

    Thats great our first lady, would love to be part of of your organisation, I am a Kenyan living in UK and four months ago i almost lost my life as i was giving birth. Thankfully they have all facilities available and was able to be tranfused quickly as i had lost alot of blood. Its the joy of a family to have their new born safe, i would love to be a part where women and families safely have their loved ones deliver that bundle of joy without [email protected]

  • Samwel Nyamweya

    What a wonderful first lady we have!I wish the oppsitoin LORD’S wife ”Ruth Odinga’will show solidarity with that humane example by our first lady ‘MARGARETE KENYATTA’;hongera mama wa taifa.

  • filis fog

    would like to sponsor her London Marathon @ 100/= a kilometer meaning khs
    4,200 for the whole 42 kilometers! where are pple registering to sponsor her?

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