NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s motivation in her Beyond Zero campaign is to ensure that no woman or child will die due to lack of maternal services.
She says her campaign will fulfil the dreams of every parent to celebrate the birth of their children and the safety of the mothers.
During an interview ahead of the marathon held at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday, she said the thought of women walking long distances before and after birth rejuvenates her energy to run to raise awareness and funds to support maternal health care in the country.
“The long distances that women walk to give birth or after giving birth is the inspiration behind First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero Campaign.”
North Eastern Kenya leads in the statistics of maternal deaths due to lack of access and transport to health facilities.
In 2012, women narrated to Capital FM News their cruel experiences of giving birth at home, in forests and by the roadside due to the long distances they have to travel to seek medical attention.
Being a mother of three, The First Lady says the pain of losing a child is unpalatable hence her determination to continue doing her best to ensure every county has maternal health services, fully equipped and with skilled care providers.
“The thought of losing a child or a spouse losing both – the mother and the child – is a devastating thought,” she explains as she insists that ‘all unnecessary’ deaths during birth should be prevented.
She is positive that with the support of Kenyans she has witnessed so far, her campaign will raise the remaining Sh350 million required to add more mobile clinics.
Her target is to raise Sh600 million to equip mobile clinics for 27 counties.
“I see this as very possible, we have raised a lot and people have been extremely generous – both companies and individuals. I see us getting to that goal,” she asserted.
In calling for more support, Kenyatta said she was amazed that her campaign had received enormous support; “it moved a lot faster than a lot of people expected, not a campaign anymore but a movement, we are doing amazing things there in the remote areas.”
The Beyond Zero campaign will not end with provision of maternal health care.
“it’s not something that will start and stop, there are so many areas in Kenya that need help not just health but various sectors, beyond zero will be there- but first goal is maternal health,” she explained.
She believes it is a positive project that can touch lives of many not just in Kenya but across Africa.
Reports indicate that about 108,000 children die annually in Kenya before their fifth birthday with 65 per cent of them dying before they celebrate their first birthday.