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Concerns over high malnutrition in Turkana

Stakeholders in the health sector have expressed concerns over the high malnutrition rate in Turkana South sub-county.

Turkana South’s Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate remains at 32.7%, indicating an ongoing risk against the county’s 26.4%.

The county-level malnutrition percentage has seen a reduction from 34.8% to 26.4%,
Consequently, the Turkana South Sub-county Nutrition Technical Forum held a meeting to discuss plans to tackle the sub-county’s still high Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate.

The forum was attended by partner representatives from USAID NAWIRI, Kenya Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services, and the International Rescue Committee who have actively participated in addressing nutritional challenges.

The County Nutrition Coordinator, Cynthia Lokidor, urged the health partners to intensify support for the nutrition sector and emphasize the collective need to reduce persistent acute malnutrition, particularly in Turkana South.

The Sub-County Nutrition Coordinator, Jemester Kakuta, presented an overview of the facilities’ performance using the mass screening reports which revealed that Turkana South’s persistent levels were above 41% before the slight improvement of 32.7%.

“Currently, there are mass screening initiatives across various sub-counties and the data collected would inform the upcoming short rains assessment report scheduled for mid-February,” she said.
Lokidor highlighted the importance of Sub-County Nutrition Technical Forums (SCNTs) in tackling local issues and those unresolved matters were elevated to the County Nutrition Forum for broader discussions and possible solutions.

She also noted the ongoing efforts in developing the 3rd generation County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP) and the County Nutrition Policy.

Jonathan Echukut, from USAID NAWIRI, proposed the cultivation of nutrient-rich fruits along river banks and in areas with suitable soil fertility to improve nutritional outcomes.
The forum attendees; the Sub-county Health Management Team, facility in-charges, and nutrition officers from Turkana South facilities.

By Peter Gitonga

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