The Mater Heart Run 2016 targets to raise over Sh100 million up from Sh88 million realised last year, money which will be used to fund heart surgery operations on at least 270 children from across the country.
Thousands of Kenyans yesterday thronged Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi to participate in the annual event, which also seeks to raise funds that will be used to screen over 20,000 other children with heart conditions.
Mater Hospital Chief Executive Officer Agnes Chege , explained that funds raised from the programme will exclusively cater for children with heart ailments from poor and needy families.
“The minimum cost of a simple closed heart surgery is Sh300,000, while the cost of an open heart operation is at least Sh500,000. Our initiative aims at lessening this burden for poor parents, as the amount is not affordable to many Kenyans.” she said.
According to Dr Chege other Mater Heart Runs were held simultaneously in Mombasa, Mumias Machakos, Nyeri and Kisumu towns. She revealed that they plan in the near future to hold the events in all parts of the country.
“Next year we plan to expand to two other counties, our vision by 2020 is that the charity runs by our hospital will be held in all the 47 counties in the country,” she said.
“We are impressed by the immense support from Kenyans and corporate bodies. We are appealing to well-wishers to continue supporting us,” added Chege.
Standard Group are the official media sponsor of the event and pumped Sh10 million worth of advertising in all its media platforms that include KTN, KTN News, The Standard, The Nairobian and Radio Maisha.
Charles Kimathi, the Standard Group’s Corporate Affairs Manager, said the media company will continue supporting initiatives that are geared at helping the less fortunate persons in the society.
“This is the fifth year running that The Standard Group has partnered with Mater Hospital to raise funds towards the complex heart surgeries. Supporting unique initiatives which touch people’s lives is in line with our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme,” said Kimathi.