Vihiga County Government on Tuesday launched a four-year Nutritional Action Plan which will provide a framework for the health sector.
The County Government and a Canadian based Nongovernmental Organization, Nutritional International will oversee the implementation of the Plan which is expected to cost close to Sh 1.6 billion.
Speaking during the launch, Vihiga Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo, reiterated that since health comes top on the agenda of his government, a lot of focus and resources will be directed to the sector.
To help fast track implementation of the Plan and ensure its total operation by 2023, Ottichilo said the county allocation on nutrition will be increased after each financial year.
With the Blue Print in place, he said that primary health will be a key area of focus, explaining that close to 50 per cent of disease prevalence will be alleviated.
Ottichilo added that with the collaboration of donors, the county will soon roll out health kiosks on all markets across the county, to help disseminate knowledge on nutrition, an area he said has been ignored by the public for long.
“In the health sector, my County Government is going to heavily invest on nutrition a reason why I recently deployed more staff in the sector. We are reliably informed that with proper nutrition, cases of non-communicable diseases which are clearing our people will drop,” he said.
Ottichilo advised that it is high time Kenyans need to go back to traditional food in an effort to reduce prevalence of non-communicable diseases.
“Kenyans have for a long time misunderstood whole aspect of a balanced diet. Many believe having a balanced diet is eating most prestigious food like red meat.
That explains why prevalence of non-communicable diseases is high in the recent past,” he explained.
Present during the launch was the President of Nutrition International, Joel Spicer, who called for collective efforts towards tackling malnutrition.
Spicer added that for the fight against malnutrition to be won, gender aspect of nutrition should be addressed, revealing that in the world the heaviest weight malnutrition falls on women.
Also present during the event was Council of Governors Representative, Rosemary Njaramba, who urged other county units to emulate the Vihiga example and set up nutritional action plans which she said once achieved will help reduce prevalence of Non-communicable diseases whose cause is mostly associated with poor diet.
By Isaiah Nayika