Kakamega county government has launched a nutrition action plan to address food and nutritional security.
The county department of Health in partnership with the Interchurch Coordination Committee for Development Aid (ICCO) and other stakeholders have adopted a multi-sectoral approach in the agro-nutritional investment.
The county nutrition action plan 2018-2022, modeled on the National Nutrition Action plan, was launched at a Kakamega hotel on Wednesday.
The acting County Director Health Services Dr. John Otieno said the plan aimed at improving the health and productivity of the residents.
“The Kakamega County Nutrition Action Plan recognizes the role of nutrition as a fundamental human right and a driver for rapid economic growth. Therefore, this document will provide guidelines for implementing nutritional interventions in the county,” he stated.
Dr. Otieno said the plan would provide a framework for coordinated implementation of high impact nutritional interventions by the county government and the various multi-sectoral partners.
The medic also noted that the alignment of the nutrition action plan to the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) and the County Health Sector Strategic Plan (CHSSP) 2018-2022 would facilitate the mainstreaming of nutritional budgeting.
The Regional Manager for ICCO Hellene Van Der Roest expressed concern over the alarming malnutrition levels in the country and called for concerted efforts to ameliorate the situation.
Statistics by ICCO show that Kenya is among seven countries globally classified as having the triple burden of malnutrition, under-nutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies such as anemia, overweight and obesity.
According to the statistics, out of 7.22 million children under five years in 2014, 1.8 million were stunted (26%); 290,000 were wasted (4%) and 767,927 (11%) were underweight.
Kakamega County stands at 28.4% stunting against the national average of 26%, underweight at 10.3% against the national average of 11% and wasting is at 1.18 % against 4% national average.
Van Der Roest said the Dutch government through ICCO Kenya would collaborate with the county to finance the implementation of the plan which would see interventions across several value chains including dairy farming and African leafy vegetables.
“I urge all partners to continue collaborating in not only implementing the plan but also monitoring the progress to ensure the intended outcomes are realized by 2022,” she said.
By Sammy Mwibanda/Remigius Maloba