, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – The eleventh edition of the Mater Heart Run was launched on Thursday and will take place on May 23.
The run’s organisers hope to raise Sh70 million up from the Sh62 million they raised in 2014.
The Sh70 million, Mater Hospital’s Cardiac Program Coordinator Roseanne Nyabera told Capital FM News, is meant to enable 250 children from needy backgrounds receive corrective heart surgery.
“Last year, the run raised Sh62 million up from Sh54 million in 2013. This enabled us to operate on 229 children and screen over 18,000 others,” she explained.
Among those who benefitted from the 2013 run is 18-year-old Allan Isaboke who suffered from a rheumatic heart condition.
“It started as a sore throat. I wish my parents knew enough to have it treated then before it evolved into something much more serious and costly,” he said.
Paediatric Cardiologist Christine Jowi who has been involved in the programme since its inception in the 90s said this was why the hospital incorporates awareness raising into their efforts and holds medical camps throughout the country.
“In Kakamega for instance,” she testified, “the residents now know enough about heart defects to identify suspected cases as early as possible and bring them to us.”
Jowi and Nyabera expounded on the programme at the launch during which they received contributions from sponsors who included Capital Group Limited.
Capital Group Limited has been a sponsor since the inception of the run and the Director of Sales and Marketing Mohammed Hussein said it was because of the difference it made in the lives of children whose parents could not afford the procedure.
“I mean it’s really something to see these children who had difficulty doing the simplest task; run with us the next year,” he said.
The run will take place in Nairobi, Mombasa, Mumias, and Machakos in May and Kisumu in September.
Those who wish to participate in the run can purchase T-Shirts at any Nakumatt or Galitos or at Mater Hospital and its satellite clinics.
You can also send your M-PESA contribution through paybill number 5263000, account number ‘heartrun.’
The run which has taken place annually since 2004 has so far helped close to 3,000 children from needy homes get their heart defects repaired with 81,000 screened.