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First Lady Margaret Kenyatta Speech as She Receives U.N Person of the Year Award

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First Lady Margaret Kenyatta First Lady Margaret Kenyatta

"Reducing maternal deaths requires a concerted multi-sectoral investment, hence there are other social determinants that we must address including education, especially of girls, gender equality, roads, infrastructure, sanitation and clean water among many others," Said Kenya First Lady Margaret Kenyatta as she was awarded United Nations Person of the Year award at the UN complex in Gigiri, Nairobi.

Full Speech

SPEECH BY H.E. MARGARET KENYATTA, THE FIRST LADY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA ON RECEIVING THE UNITED NATIONS PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD ON 24TH OCTOBER, 2014 AT THE UN COMPLEX IN GIGIRI, NAIROBI

I am truly honored to be named the recipient of this highly regarded and prestigious award.

I am humbled with the recognition that you confer on me today, and I would like to dedicate this award to ALL of You, The Kenyan Men and Women who join me every day in the fight to reduce maternal and early childhood deaths .... we are not there yet but we shall get 'Beyond Zero'.

Ending preventable maternal and newborn deaths in our country is not a choice, it is a necessity.

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.

Childbirth should be a joyous moment for families and communities, not a period of loss and mourning.

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of leading a team in the ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign which 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.

I am committed to ensuring that each of our 47 counties has a fully-equipped mobile clinic because no more women should die while giving life, and no more babies should die from preventable causes.

It has been demonstrated through the kind donations of many well-wishers to the Beyond Zero Campaign, that public–private partnerships go a long way in supporting improvement of the health status of women and children.

Reducing maternal deaths requires a concerted multi-sectoral investment, hence there are other social determinants that we must address including education, especially of girls, gender equality, roads, infrastructure, sanitation and clean water among many others.

I want to sincerely thank the United Nations family as a whole, for supporting our cause.

Your support, together with the support of many others, is saving and transforming the lives of many Kenyan women and children.

In equal measure, I would like to thank our WORLD class athletes, including the lovely old grandmother who ran with me in Iten, all those who gave us moral and material support during our memorable run in London, my team and the unwavering support of His Excellency the President and my family.....

But most importantly, I would like to thank all the thousands of Kenyans who joined me in my half-marathon here in Nairobi and I look forward to you joining me next year as we continue running until we achieve our goal.

Your continued commitment will change the lives of Kenya's women and children!

I thank you once again for this profound honor, asanteni sana!

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