First Lady sets pace for Beyond Zero marathon

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta with Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohammed, Sicily Kariuki and Keriako Tobiko at the Karura Forest. (Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard)

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has set the ball rolling for this year’s Beyond Zero Half Marathon by flagging off a 100-men run at Karura Forest.

The men-only run, under the tagline ‘I will Run For Her’, is a precursor for this year’s Beyond Zero Half Marathon slated for March 8.

The event was held to coincide with Valentine’s day and the men were running to show solidarity and harness their engagement around issues of maternal and child health that affect their mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and the girl-child.

These include the repair and reintegration of women living with obstetric fistula, championing the country validation for the pre-elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis by 2021, promotion of good nutrition for all children, and advocating for social inclusion of children living with disability for equal access to health and education services, among others.

Unlike in the past editions of the marathon, participants will this year pick an intervention area they support within the broad maternal and child healthcare.

The intervention areas include zero maternal death, zero child death, a healthy lifestyle for the elderly, zero new HIV infection and zero child marriage.

Others are zero Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), early screening for cancer, inclusion of persons with disability and better nutrition for all children.

The First Lady, accompanied by CSs Amina Mohamed, Sicily Kariuki and Margaret Kobia, her Chief of Staff Constance Gakonyo, National Aids Control Council CEO Dr Nduku Kilonzo and staff of Beyond Zero Secretariat, joined the men in a warm up before start.