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[VIDEO] Thousands show up in support of the health campaign

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Thousands show up in support of the health campaign

The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s Beyond Zero campaign raised Sh46mn during the Sunday marathon in which 15,000 peopled showed up to back the drive.

The initiative geared at improving maternal health has already managed to buy and deliver 21 fully equipped mobile clinics to 21 counties.

Donations totalling Sh46 million were presented to the First Lady at the Nyayo Stadium with the Commercial Bank of Africa donating Sh25 million.

Mrs Kenyatta finished the 21 kilometre race with an improved time of 3:24.55 up from last year’s 3:55.05.

ON THE FINISH LINE

President Uhuru Kenyatta was at the finishing line inside Nyayo National Stadium to receive the First Lady who was joined in the marathon by dignitaries led by Deputy President William Ruto and Mrs Rachel Ruto.

Other senior Government officials who took part in the marathon included Cabinet Secretaries Joseph Nkaissery (Interior), Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs), Anne Waiguru (Devolution), James Macharia (Health), Judy Wakhungu (Environment) and Hassan Wario (Sports).

Besides the 21 kilometre competition, other races that were part of the event included a 10 kilometre race, a 2 kilometre race, a tricycle race and a wheelchair race.

The event was also used to mark the World Women’s Day dedicated to show respect, appreciation and love towards women.

In her speech at the end of the marathon, Mrs Kenyatta appealed to Kenyan athletes to jealously guard Kenya’s position as a world athletics power house.

“Since the 1950s and 60s, gallant Kenyan sportsmen and women have worked hard to dominate global athletics, an enviable position we must all jealously guard and defend by winning clean, without using illegal performance enhancing substances,” she said.

BEST OF LUCK

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (centre) crosses the finish line during the 21km First Lady's Marathon at Nyayo Stadium

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (centre) crosses the finish line during the 21km First Lady’s Marathon at Nyayo Stadium

She wished Kenyan athletes the best of luck at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships that will be held in Guiyang, China on March 28.

The First Lady also called on all Kenyans to maintain healthy lifestyles to improve their health.

“Healthy living helps push medical costs lower and also plays a huge role in maintaining happy families,” she said.

The First Lady said the Beyond Zero campaign has made tremendous strides in achieving its objectives but added that more funds are required to sustain the program.

“We are halfway through our journey, as we need to raise additional funds to purchase more clinics so that each of our 47 counties has a mobile clinic to service the healthcare needs of our mothers and children,” she said.

Deputy President William Ruto presented a donation of Sh17 million. The Ministry of Health made a donation of Sh3 million while Kakamega County made a donation of Sh1 million.

Winners of the races were also presented with cash prizes with the winners of the 21 kilometre race receiving Sh750,000 each.

Moses Kosgei won the 21 kilometre prize for men with a time of 01:01.28 and Jepkurui Georgina was the women’s prize winner with a time of 01:32.56.

Samuel Kuria and Eunice Kuria won the wheelchair race while James Magerere and Jane Kerubo came won the tricycle race. The 10 kilometre race was won by James Mwangi.

During the race, the First Lady was accompanied Kenyan athletics stars including 3000m steeple chase star Ezekiel Kemboi, former world marathon record holder Catherin Ndereba and former world half marathon champion Lonah Kiplagat.

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