, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23 – Thousands turned up for this year’s Mater Heart Run initiative on Saturday, an annual event whose aim is to assist children from families which cannot afford the cost of cardiac surgery.
Mater Hospital CEO Agnes Chege said the eleventh edition of the Mater Heart Run is targeting to raise Sh110 million to perform 135 heart surgeries and 105 catheterizations. In addition to conducting 21,000 screening on students.
“We have heard numerous success stories, with children fitted in the programme growing up to enter the medical field, excel academically and become stars in the world of sports, in fact one of our star ambassador is one of our nurses,” she said.
“We have had all kind of cases coming through the programme, from children who have been abandoned in the dustbins and some from the most remote part of the country who cannot afford to raise bus fare for their surgery.”
Speaking during the flagging-off of the eleventh edition of the Mater Heart Run, Chege said the hospital also hopes to expand the surgeries to adults.
“We have a vision not only to touch a child’s heart but to expand the programme to touch adults with cardiac problems,”
Over 60,000 t-shirts were sold for the year’s edition an indication that there are around sixty thousand people running in Nairobi, Mombasa, Machakos and Mumias.
She said the funds will be used to conduct surgery on 280 children with heart complications compared to 231 treated last year
Capital Group Limited employees who have been sponsors since the inception of the run led by Editorial Director Michael Mumo said it was because of the difference it made in the lives of children whose parents could not afford the procedure.