HONG KONG, 24 November 2013 — The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) held the eighth UNICEF Charity Run today at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. This year, over 14,000 runners, the highest number among previous years, responded to the call of “Believe In Zero AIDS, Make Zero Your Finish Line” and ran to support the cause of combating HIV/AIDS. The fund raised also hits a record high of over HK$10 million and will be used to provide one dose of ‘one pill daily’ treatments for more than 620,000 pregnant women living with HIV.
Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Honourable Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Representative of UNICEF China Ms Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Regional Ambassador (East Asia and Pacific) Miss Miriam Yeung, UNICEF HK Ambassadors Mr Wong Kam-po and Miss Sarah Lee Wai-sze, attended the event to support the runners. Over 30 commercial and industrial leaders of the town also supported by participating in the “3km Leadership Challenge” race.
Two Ambassadors Miss Miriam Yeung and Mr Wong Kam-po joined 3km Leadership Challenge and 5km Run respectively, while famous Chinese tennis player Ms Zheng Jie also attended the event and joined the 3km Youth and Family Fun Run to support UNICEF ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS’ Global Campaign.
Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Honourable Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attended the event and encouraged all Hong Kong citizens to fully engage and support the second largest distance running event in Hong Kong, contributing to UNICEF ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS’ Global Campaign. Mrs Lam said, “I wish to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to the co-organisers of the Charity Run, UNICEF HK and Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association, and the sponsoring and supporting organisations, which enabled the Race to be held smoothly. I must also thank all the runners for supporting the ‘Zero AIDS’ call in action.”
|UNICEF and World Health Organisation (WHO) are now promoting a new, simple ‘one pill daily’ treatment for pregnant women living with HIV. Instead of taking multiple pills several times per day, now they just need to take one pill per day to protect their situation from getting worse and can help prevent the transmission of HIV to their babies. Chairman of UNICEF HK, Ms Judy Chen shared good news with all runners, “UNICEF and WHO estimated between 2013 and 2025, the total number of AIDS-related deaths averted could increase from 9 million to 12 million if the new treatment is fully implemented. AIDS-free generation can be achievable through out joint efforts!”|
|Miss Sarah Lee Wai-sze said, “It is my pleasure to see parents joining races with their children. The run today is not only enriching “healthy childhood”, but also benfitting many children through the new ‘one pill daily’ treatment. I also hope on 1 December, World AIDS Day, all Hong Kong people will have a higher awareness of the global issues on HIV/AIDS, and young people in Hong Kong can take initiative to spread care and concern about people living with HIV/AIDS.”|
UNICEF Charity Run 2013 is again co-organised by UNICEF HK and Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association. The races includeHalf Marathon, 10km Run, 3km Fun Run and the newly introduced 5kmRun, encompassing scenic spots including the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Inspiration Lake, costal area alongside Airport Express station and Sunny Bay. The number of runners this year topped 14,000 with renowned Hong Kong runners Ms Leung Ying-suet, Mr Gi Ka-man and Mr Lai Hok-yan. Mr Thomas Kiprotich, Men’s Half Marathon Overall Championship for five consecutive years and Ms Michelle Lowry, Women’s Half Marathon Overall Championship last year also continued to support the race. Wheelchair runner Mr Rob Holliday and nearly 50 members from The Fearless Dragon, a group of visually and hearing impaired enthusiastic runners alsoovercame their physical challenges and joined the race. The Fearless Dragon evenbroke the record for having the most visually and hearing impaired runners to join the local half marathon races, to realise the goal of “ZERO AIDS”.
After completing all the races of the day, it was announced that runner Chan Ka-ho won the Men’s Half Marathon Overall Championship (01’11’21), and defeated Mr Thomas Kiprotich, the Men’s Half Marathon Overall Championship for five consecutive years; while runner Michelle Lowry won the Women’s Half Marathon Overall Championship (01’22’45). Men’s and Women’s 10km Overall Champion were Gi Ka-man (00’32’33) and Yiu Kit-ching (00’36’24) respectively.
|To express the care to the children and families affected by HIV/AIDS, 32 commercial and industrial leaders of the town joined 3km Leadership Challenge held the second time this year. The leaders include Mr Adrian David Li Man-kiu, Deputy Chief Executive of the Bank of East Asia, Mr Lau Ming-wai, Vice Chairman of Chinese Estate Holdings Limited, Mr Albert Chuang, Executive Director of Chuang’s Consortium International Ltd and Mr Tony Tsoi Tong-hoo, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Varitronix International Ltd.|
According to the 2013 Progress Report on the Global Plan released by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), 4 out of 10 women living with HIV among the 21 priority countries, did not receive antiretroviral medicines (ARV) during pregnancy, to prevent transmission of the virus to their babies. If the babies are infected with HIV and do not receive necessary medication, half will die before age two. Last year, 210,000 children under the age of 15 die due to AIDS. It is estimated that 3.3 million children under the age of 15 are living with HIV.
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