First Lady Kenyatta lands WHO award for Beyond Zero Marathon
First lady Margaret Kenyatta was on Sunday awarded the 2019 Health Leaders award by the World Health Organization (WHO) at the second edition of ‘Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge’ event held in Geneva, Switzerland.
The First Lady was recognised for her outstanding advocacy on global health matters by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO.
“Today is not just about sport; it’s about promoting health for all. We have all come together with one goal: to demonstrate that we cannot take health for granted,” said Ghebreyesus.
“Physical activity is the bedrock of healthy living that prevents many illnesses,” said Kenyatta. “Linking this to good nutrition and reinforcing healthy habits, including physical exercise, is something we as leaders need to encourage in our communities.”
Other special guests in attendance included Formula One racing driver Romain Grosjean and mental health advocate Cynthia Germanotta, Lady Gaga’s mother.
Also, in attendance were the four-time New York City marathon champion Mary Keitany and European half marathon champion Tadesse Abraham.
Kenyatta is also the founder of the Beyond Zero Campaign which culminated to the Beyond Zero Marathon – aimed at raising funds for the campaign that seeks to reduce maternal deaths. The Campaign marked its fourth edition this year.
The First Lady who was also the patron of the World Under-18 Championships held in Nairobi in 2017 was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Sicily Kariuki (Health) and her Sports and Heritage counterpart ambassador Amina Mohammed.
“The Beyond Zero Marathon which I host, have brought together thousands of Kenyans for the past four years to run for a cause. It has also enhanced awareness of the benefits of healthy living. I add my voice to Walk the Talk, as my personal commitment,” Kenyatta posted on her twitter handle.
WHO staged the inaugural edition of the Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge in 2018, attracting more than 4000 people from the Geneva public, local institutions and delegates to the World Health Assembly.
This free event is open to people of all ages and abilities, and involves three connected routes of three, five and eight kilometres.