First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at the launch of the third edition of the First Lady’s Half Marathon 2016 at State House Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESYFirst Lady Margaret Kenyatta at the launch of the third edition of the First Lady’s Half Marathon 2016 at State House Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY
By COLLINS NABISWA

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Tuesday launched the third edition of the First Lady’s Half Marathon 2016 whose proceeds go to Beyond Zero Campaign, a grassroots healthcare initiative.

The First lady also registered as the marathon’s first participant and called on Kenyans to register for the event in large numbers- either for the 21 Km, 10Km or 5 km races.

The marathon will be flagged off at Nyayo Stadium.

Mrs Kenyatta launched the 2016 edition of the Half Marathon at State House, Nairobi, during a breakfast meeting where she hosted diplomats, government officials, corporate partners among others.

The marathon is aimed at creating awareness and mobilizing resources to fund Beyond Zero activities especially the acquisition of mobile clinics that the initiative has been distributing to the devolved units.

The Marathon is an initiative of the First Lady that takes place at the beginning of every March which coincides with this year’s International Women’s Day, The event is targeting a record audience of 70,000 men and women, up from 50,000 participants in the past year.

So far, 36 out of 47 counties have benefited from the fully kitted clinics with significant impact on maternal and child health at the grassroots, immunization programs and reduction of HIV/Aids infections.

The First Lady said the Beyond Zero campaign has raised Sh540 million besides receiving donations in kind of medical equipment and kits

During the launch, the Co-operative Bank of Kenya pledged a Sh15 million donation towards the Beyond Zero Campaign. The First Lady said the Beyond Zero Campaign had achieved key successes through the support of various partners.

“The unique private-public sector partnership, individual philanthropists, the media, the UN family, National and County governments have all contributed to these milestones”