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The MTN Kampala Marathon Returns With Focus On Maternal Health

MTN Uganda have announced the return of the MTN Kampala Marathon which will take place on Sunday 20th November 2022.

This year’s theme for the run will be “Run for Babies”. The announcement comes after a two-year break due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

First run in 2004, the MTN Kampala Marathon has been a mainstay on the Ugandan sports calendar and a major springboard for East Africa’s elite athletes. In addition to being the most professional Marathon in the region, the MTN Kampala Marathon has earned its place as the biggest charity-inspired marathon, giving participants a good reason to run, not only for their own health and fitness but to also contribute to projects that have supported communities over the years.

Speaking at the launch of the MTN Kampala Marathon 2022 at the MTN Uganda Head offices today, Sylvia Mulinge, the newly appointed MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer announced that the proceeds from this year’s Marathon shall be used again to upgrade maternal and newborn facilities in health centers across the country.

“As a continuation to the tremendous impact that the Marathon has achieved over the past years, this year’s marathon proceeds shall similarly be dedicated to further improving the selected maternal and neonatal health facilities, by refurbishing and equipping them to save the lives of mothers and babies,” Mulinge said, urging the public to participate and contribute in the noble cause.

As is the case in many sub-Saharan countries, statistics indicate that there are an estimated 336 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births and 43 infant deaths per 1000 live births in Uganda, with 42% of the children’s mortality occurring during the neonatal period (source: Uganda Health and Demographic Survey, 2016 – UNFPA).

She added, “It is therefore through such initiatives that the public and corporate companies can join hands with the government to ensure better health service delivery that is critical in the elimination of these preventable deaths among mothers and babies.”

Over the years, contributions from the MTN Kampala Marathon have supported the area of maternal and child health tremendously. Ush. 900m was raised from the MTN Marathon editions of 2018 and 2019 and that together with a top of Ush.400m from MTN Foundation was used to refurbish maternal wards in four health centers across the country.

Working with the Ministry of Health and UNFPA as the implementing partners, the health centers of Kawempe Hospital in Kampala, Muyembe Health Center IV in Bulambuli district, Pakwach HC IV in Pakwach district, Kalangala HC IV in Kalangala district, and Karugutu HC IV in Ntoroko district, were refurbished and equipped with neo-natal equipment, using proceeds from 2018 and 2019. The facilities are fully operational, offering mothers and newborns much-needed healthcare services.

Proceeds from this year’s Marathon shall be used to upgrade maternal and newborn services in four selected health facilities across the country. The beneficiary health facilities include Kisenyi and Kawaala health facilities in the suburbs of Kampala plus those in Kachumbala (Teso sub-region) and Kabong (Karamoja sub-region)

The 2022 edition of the MTN Kampala Marathon will be held on Sunday 20th November starting at the Kololo independence grounds with runners participating in any of 4 categories including; the full marathon (42Km), half marathon (21Km), 10Km race and 5Km fun run. The wheelchair race (10Km) shall be held on Sunday 13th November 2022.

This year’s kit features a running belt that offers a secure and convenient way for runners to keep their valuables and water bottle to rehydrate, while they run.

Contributions from the MTN Kampala Marathon have for years supported the area of maternal and child health tremendously. Ushs.900m was raised from the MTN Marathon editions of 2018 and 2019 and that together with a top of Ushs.400m from MTN Foundation, was used to refurbish maternal wards in four health centers across the country,

The MTN Kampala Marathon has, over the years raised Ushs 4bn+ and benefitted several causes such as helping expectant mothers with maternity kit, resettling people displaced by war in northern Uganda, delivering clean water and improving sanitation in communities/schools, and most recently, improving maternal in health facilities.

During the launch, Anne Juuko, Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic Bank revealed that ”Stanbic are very proud to be associated with MTN, and even more proud to be doing that for a good cause for the last 8 years. We value the partnership with MTN due to the immense power that lies in collaborations for a common good cause. There is no nobler cause than supporting maternal and newborn health. As such, we are contributing Ush.170 million shillings to this endeavor.”

Óther partners for the 2022 edition of MTN Kampala Marathon include Huawei, New Vision, Rwenzori, NBS TV and KCCA which is the host city.

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