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First Lady is UN Kenya Person of the Year

24 October 2014, 17:17 PSCU

Nairobi - First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has been named the United Nations in Kenya Person of the Year 2014.

The First Lady earned the coveted title for her efforts to stop preventable maternal and newborn deaths in the country through her Beyond Zero campaign.

She received a standing ovation as she was presented with the United Nations plaque at a ceremony marked with pomp and colour at the UN offices in Gigiri, Nairobi during the 69th United Nations Day.

The First lady was selected for successfully raising awareness and funds to address the plight of women and children in need of quality healthcare. The campaign resonates well with the Millennium Development Goals numbers 4 and 5 and in keeping with the ideals of the UN.

In her acceptance remarks, the First Lady dedicated the award to Kenyan men and women for supporting her fight to reduce maternal and early childhood deaths to beyond zero.

Read also: UNFPA inks deal to improve health of African women, children

"For too long, the prospect of childbirth in Kenya to thousands of women has been tantamount to a death sentence. This is not acceptable. It must stop, she added.

The First Lady said Childbirth should be a joyous moment for families and communities and not a period of loss and mourning.

Through her Beyond Zero Campaign, the First Lady has demonstrated that public private partnerships can go a long way in supporting improvement of the health status of women and children.

She has since early this year been leading a team in the Beyond Zero campaign that targets the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality.

" To date, we have delivered seven (7) fully kitted mobile clinics to Taita Taveta, Narok, Isiolo, Homa Bay, Wajir, Baringo and Samburu counties. These are Counties that have some of the highest maternal and newborn mortality rates in the country," she said.

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