Nairobi, March 3 2015
Amref Health Africa and the Chase Group Foundation today launched the Save A Mum Walk 2015 with calls for corporates and individuals to sign up for the annual event that raises money to train midwives.
This is the third Save A Mum walk, which is organised annually by the Chase Bank and the Chase Group Foundation to support Amref Health Africa’s work in maternal health and its international Stand Up for African Mothers campaign. The walk will be held on March 28 at the Ngong Forest Reserve in Nairobi.
Chase Bank CEO Mr Paul Njaga noted that 162,000 women die in Africa every year in pregnancy and childbirth, leaving behind close to one million orphans, and that in Kenya, 26 women die every day from easily preventable causes.
“These numbers may be just statistics to many people living in urban areas, but they represent real people and are a reflection of the challenges that women face in rural and remote parts of Africa. It is the duty of everyone to ensure that we reverse these statistics.”
Women, said Mr Njaga, were at the core of the operations of Chase Bank. The Bank was keen to play its part in stopping the unnecessary deaths of women, he added and urged other corporates, institutions and individuals to sponsor and register for the walk. “Maternal health is not a woman issue; it is everybody’s issue. When bringing new life means ending one life, then we all have failed.”
Amref Health Africa’s Interim CEO, Dr Lennie Bazira Kyomuhangi-Igbodipe, thanked the Chase Group for its generous support for the Stand Up for African Mothers campaign. She noted that in 2013, the Save a Mum walk had raised Ksh15 million (about US$165,000), and that the target this year was Ksh45 million (close to US$500,000).
“All this is in addition to another Ksh45 million given by the Foundation in the last three years, making it one of our largest supporters not just in Kenya, but in the whole of Africa,” she said.
She siad that the funds had been used to train midwives, who are crucial to saving the lives of mothers and newborns in Africa. This, she explained, was the aim of the Stand Up for African Mothers campaign, which Amref Health Africa launched in October 2011 to create awareness about the high maternal mortality rates in Africa and the importance of midwives in saving the lives of mothers and babies.
“Through the campaign, we intend to raise funds for the training of 15,000 more midwives in 13 African countries with the highest maternal deaths. We have trained close to 6,000 so far, including 1,200 in Kenya. The need is still great, and so we must step up efforts to meet our targets. We require the support of our partners, including the media, to raise awareness about this issue and to contribute towards making a difference.”
The launch was held at the Villa Rossa Kempinksi Hotel in Nairobi, one of the sponsors of the walk and was attended by representatives of other corporate sponsors.