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Beyond Zero Marathon to highlight detection of preventable maternal and infant deaths

Philips Kenya will collaborate with Beyond Zero to introduce a new segment to their half marathon race devoted to fundraising forthe detection of preventable pregnancy related complications.

Speaking on Thursday at a Nairobi hotel, the Philips Africa CEO, Jasper Westerink, said that 350 pregnant women in their first and second trimesters will participate in the first Philips Lumify Pregnancy 2km Walk geared at raising funds in support of Beyond Zero and eliminate preventable maternal and infant deaths.

“This walk aims at taking the conversation and motivation of the Beyond Zero initiative a step further by getting the pregnant women involved not only in the walk, but also in the healthy development of their babies,” said Westerink.

The CEO highlighted that the activities which will take place during the walk include ultrasound pregnancy screening of the participants by use of  The Philips Lumify bringing technology that will otherwise only be available at formal hospitals and clinics to the participants.

He explained that the mothers-to-be will be able to see high-quality images of their unborn babies on a smartphone, thanks to the mobile app and portable ultrasound. For most of the expectant mothers, this screening will be their first ever opportunity to have an ultrasound scan.

“As a health technology company dedicated to creating the future of healthcare, we are driven to help solve the world’s toughest clinical challenges through meaningful innovation,” added Westerink.

Research reveals that women across Africa often die due to avoidable complications during child birth, as they have no access to healthcare technologies. Kenya has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world, with 510 maternal deaths per 100, 000 live births and 49 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

“Many deaths can be prevented with basic imaging technology and detecting critical conditions as well as educating women about healthy pregnancy and childbirth, and give them access to technology that can potentially save their own lives and the lives of their babies,” he said.

Support  staff from Philips, Beyond Zero Campaign and the Kenya Red Cross will participate in the event this Sunday 10th March, 2019 as well as manning comfort stations and recovery tents along the route to ensure the safety of all participants and supporters.

By  Judith Mshimba/Samuel Kitavi

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