MTN Kampala Marathon Back After Two-Year Hiatus

MTN Kampala Marathon Back After Two-Year Hiatus

By Our Reporter

MTN Uganda together with its partners Huawei, Stanbic bank, New Vision, Rwenzori, NBS TV and KCCA – the host city, on Monday announced the 2022 edition of the MTN Kampala Marathon, which shall take place on Sunday 20th November 2022 under the theme; “Run for Babies”. This announcement comes after a two-year break due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

MTN Uganda CEO, Sylvia Mulinge launched the 17th edition of the MTN Kampala Marathon.

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.

While launching the MTN Kampala Marathon 2022 at the MTN Uganda Head offices today, Sylvia Mulinge, the 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).

“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. Ugx900m was raised from the MTN Marathon editions of 2018 and 2019 and that together with a top of Ugx400m 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.

Over the years, contributions from the MTN Kampala Marathon have supported the area of maternal and child health tremendously. Ugx900m was raised from the MTN Marathon editions of 2018 and 2019 and that together with a top of Ugx400m 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 Ugx4bn+ 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.

The MTN Marathon pledges to continue playing its role in connecting and uniting Ugandans to causes that make a difference in the lives of thousands (if not millions) across the country.

For the 21km and 42km category, participants will pay Ugx40,000 cash, and Ugx20,000 using mobile money. 5km  and 10km participants will pay Ugx40,000 cash and Ugx30,000.

The kit items include a T-shirt, sun visor, running belt, bottle timing chip.

Dominic Otucet, President, Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF)had this to say: “We are grateful to MTN for sticking with us for the last 19 years, from 2004 when we had the inaugural MTN Kampala Marathon until now. We at UAF value and cherish this partnership. Our partnership with MTN has enabled our good performance in athletics, which has become a golden sport in Uganda. We are therefore happy to resume the MTN Kampala Marathon after the two-year break.”

Vision Group is offering Media leverage worth Ugx150m towards the 2022 MTN Kampala Marathon according to Don Wanyama; the group’s CEO.

Huawei, who have been partners of the marathon for the last 8 editions is contributing Ugx280m to the MTN Kampala Marathon 2022 according to Samuel Chen, Vice President Huawei Regional Office.

Anne Juuko; Stanbic Bank CEO had this to say: “We at 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 Ugx170m to this endeavour.”

MTN MoMo will support the MTN Kampala Marathon by discounting all the kits that shall be paid for via MTN MoMo. “Following the past 2 years of the pandemic, discounting the kits is our way of ensuring that many more people take part in the MTN Kampala Marathon. The children are the future of this country and it is important that we support them right from birth. Be vigilant to avoid falling prey to fraudsters,” Richard Yego MTN MOMO Boss said.

Next Media services has pledged media value worth Ugx500m towards the MTN Kampala Marathon 2022.

Coca-Cola, will be supporting with value worth Ugx75m beverages.

Every year 3,600 babies die in Kampala, within the first 28 days of birth. That is 70 deaths every week and 10 every day due to avoidable and preventable circumstances like absence of  sufficient inputs in health centers and poor antennal management of mothers, according to Dorothy Kisaka, the KCCA executive director. She says that a lot still needs to be done to reduce the number of newborn deaths.

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