Margaret Kenyatta’s impact, it seems, is being felt in all corners. Impact Africa, the public relations firm that spearheaded the he the First Lady’s Beyond Zero campaign on child and maternal health has been nominated for this year’s Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) Excellence Awards.

The campaign has been nominated for Social Campaign of the Year, Sponsorship Campaign of the Year and Not for Profit Campaign. Using sporting events such as the First Lady Half Marathon and the London Marathon, where the first lady participated, Beyond Zero Campaign has seen 14 fully-kitted mobile clinics handed to county governments to boost delivery of services to mothers. The plan is to reach out to all 47 counties as a way of improving the health of women and children.

“The campaign’s goals include creating a platform for the First Lady to interact with the grassroots as well as encouraging women to participate in athletics and be more conscious of their health. The campaign was to also raise funds for the First Lady’s causes,” says Mrs Kentice Tikolo, Impact Africa CEO.

Mrs Kenyatta was named the United Nations in Kenya Person of the Year 2014 for her efforts to stop preventable maternal and newborn deaths in the country through the Beyond Zero Campaign. She was selected for successfully raising awareness and funds to address the plight of women and children and in need of quality health care.

During the 2013 Organisation of First Ladies Against HIV and AIDs in Africa meeting in Addis Ababa, Margaret Kenyatta committed herself to champion the campaign to eliminate new HIV infections among children and keep their mothers alive. In December 2013, she launched a five-year strategic framework to accelerate progress in HIV control and promotion of maternal, new born and child health in Kenya.

To coordinate these efforts, she launched the Beyond Zero Foundation. The launch of the framework was triggered by the fact that over 5,500 women in Kenya die every year due to pregnancy and birth related complications and more than 100,000 children aged below five years die early in life. In 2012, there were more than 13,000 new HIV infections among children, of whom 62 per cent did not have access to life-saving medication. The trend is a major setback to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 that relate to reducing child mortality and improvement of maternal health.

The final winners will be announced at the PRSK gala dinner at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi on Friday, December 5, 2014.

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