First lady cancels Beyond Zero Marathon

Saturday February 4 2017

First Lady Margrate Kenyatta cuts the ribbon to

First Lady Margrate Kenyatta cuts the ribbon to finish the Beyond Zero Half Marathon 2016 edition at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | DPPS 

By FAITH NYAMAI
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First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has cancelled this year’s Beyond Zero Half Marathon citing politicisation of her maternal health campaign.

Ms Kenyatta, who has held the Beyond Zero campaign for the last four years said, although the campaign has helped thousands of women across the 47 counties, she is has cancel this year’s event dubbed ‘Gratitude Marathon’

“I have never been willing to politicize this agenda. As a consequence I feel it necessary to cancel the First Lady’s Half Marathon this year,” said Ms Kenyatta in a press statement.

The marathon was scheduled for March 12, but Kenyans have been asking that it be cancelled and that she addresses the ongoing health crisis.

The First Lady on Saturday said “Throughout the last four years, our partners -from ordinary Kenyans, to workers in the health sector, to civil society, to policy makers, to the business community and international donors-have given Beyond Zero the inspiration and impetus it has needed to keep going,”

She said, over the last four years, Kenyans have joined her on a journey to end maternal; and child mortality across the country and promised to continue with the campaigns even in future and to build the Beyond Zero Referral Hospital.

“We have run together bonded by our shared conviction that no mother should die while giving life and that every child should live to see their 5th birthday,”

According to the first lady, she was preparing to celebrate with Kenyans and thank them for running with her and supporting the campaign.

“My ultimate purpose was to ensure that no mother or child lost their lives unnecessarily and I believe that this is something which should be owned by all of us,” she said.

She assured Kenyans that she is committed to continue with the programs to save more lives.