First Lady Margaret Kenyatta takes Beyond Zero campaign to counties

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during the official breakfast launch of the Beyond Zero campaign at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi on January 24, 2014. With her is a couple from Isiolo County; Mr and Mrs Godana. PHOTO | PSCU

What you need to know:

  • The First Lady said while the government was committed to reducing the mortality rates in the country, more needed to be done
  • The First Lady is hosting the inaugural First Lady’s Half Marathon on March 9, 2014

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has taken her “Beyond Zero” campaign to the counties with a call to spouses of governors to support the initiative to reduce deaths from preventable causes.

The First Lady, who hosted the county first ladies for a dinner at State House Nairobi, urged them to use their strategic positions to raise awareness of preventable diseases that threaten the survival of women and children.

“We have all heard the figures. These are not just statistics. These are our fellow Kenyan sisters and children who die largely as a result of pregnancy and HIV related complications which are preventable,” she said.

The First Lady said while the government was committed to reducing the mortality rates in the country, more needed to be done to ensure that every birth remained a promise for a better and brighter future.

She regretted that many women did not get the chance to hold healthy babies in their hands due to inaccessible health care outlets within their localities.

“Regardless of anyone’s status in society, it is unbelievably moving to hold your healthy baby in your arms. Knowing that you hold the future of your family, the community and ultimately of this nation in your hands. If they do survive the delivery, they are frightened that their baby is going to die on the first day, or in the first few weeks of life,” the First Lady said.

“This reality saddens me, but what saddens me even more is the knowledge that these mothers and children are suffering and dying unnecessarily in this country due to preventable causes,” she added.


The inaugural First Lady’s Half Marathon will take place on March 9, 2014 and the First Lady will also participate in this year's London Marathon. The race will raise awareness and funds to improve access to better healthcare through mobile clinics. (READ: Why I’ll be running with Kenya’s First Lady this weekend)

The strategy aims to mobilize and provide leadership towards ending new HIV infections among children and to reduce the number of deaths among women and children in Kenya, she added.

“On this day, I will run to make a difference. I will run to raise awareness about the possibility of a healthy nation through elimination of HIV transmission from mothers to children and ensuring the survival of mothers and children,” the First Lady said.

She asked the county first ladies to partner with her in this worthy cause and to be the champions of change for women and children in the counties and the nation.

On their part, the governors’ spouses assured the First Lady of their total support of initiatives aimed at reducing deaths from preventable causes across the country and pledged to mobilize participants from the counties to join the First Lady’s campaign.