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KENYA: Beyond Zero to continue partnering with Govt in healthcare delivery, First Lady assures.

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NAIROBI, 8th March 2020, (PSCU)— First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has said her Beyond Zero initiative will continue partnering with the Government in the delivery of health services.

The First Lady said advocacy undertaken by Beyond Zero over the years has led to policy reforms that have enabled better healthcare especially for vulnerable populations.

She cited reforms such as the introduction of free maternal services for expectant mothers through NHIF’s Linda Mama program and intensified screening for reproductive health cancers as some of the successes achieved through Beyond Zero’s advocacy work.

“Our advocacy work has contributed to policy formulation in ending FGM and eradicating obstetric fistulae along with a call for an increase in resource allocation in this area,” the First Lady said.

She spoke today at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi County during the closing ceremony of this year’s Beyond Zero half marathon.

President Uhuru Kenyatta participated in the 2km segment of the annual fundraising event for Beyond Zero that was attended by thousands Kenyans.

At the colourful event, which coincided with the commemoration of the International Womens Day, the First Lady assured of Beyond Zero’s continued advocacy in support of the country’s target of achieving universal health coverage.

This year’s marathon was guided by nine advocacy areas including access to quality maternal and neonatal healthcare services, repair and reintegration of women suffering from obstetric fistula and promotion of good nutrition for children.

Others are social inclusion of children living with disability in the delivery of health and education services and elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2021 among others.

On International Women’s Day, the First Lady said this year’s theme of “An Equal World is an Enabled world” fits into the aspirations of Beyond Zero.

“As we celebrate this women’s day, we also want to raise awareness about issues that impede girls and women’s opportunity to advance and thrive as equal citizens of the world.

“Today we run for several causes, we run for zero maternal deaths, we run to end Female Genital Mutilation and obstetric fistula, we run to end early child marriage,” the First Lady reiterated.

She said this year’s half marathon will help Beyond Zero to continue contributing towards ending preventable deaths by intensifying medical outreach.

“This marathon will help us elevate our contribution towards ending preventable deaths. It we will enable us to reach out to many more marginalised and vulnerable communities through four more medical safari’s,” the First Lady told marathon participants who included several Cabinet Secretaries led by Amina Mohamed of Sports.

She said the marathon is also aimed at raising awareness for better health choices amongst the adolescents and the youth and thanked sponsors for their continued support.

“I applaud the planning teams, staff, volunteers, participants and the spectators at home. Together we have delivered the Beyond Zero Marathon 2020,” the First Lady concluded.

Vincent Kipchumba and Lydia Njeri won the 21km men and women races respectively while Vincent Yegon and Evelyne Chirchir won the men and women 10km segments.

The 21km men and women tri-cycle race was won by Ronald Wafula and Jane Kerubo.

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