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County partners with UNICEF to Address Malnutrition

Nandi County has partnered with UNICEF and Nutrition International (NI) in a bid to reduce alarming cases of malnutrition in the county.

The partnership will be steered through the County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP) funded by UK- Aid from the British government.

Other partners include Baraton University, Moi University and the Academic Model Providing Access to Health Care (AMPATH).

According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014, Nandi County is among the counties with the high levels of malnutrition in Kenya.

The survey revealed that the prevalence of stunting of children under five years stands at 29.9% way above the national level of 26%, wasting was at 4% while underweight at 11%.

Speaking during the launch of the action plan Wednesday, Governor Stephen Sang said that the figures are embarrassing and unacceptable in a county considered as one of the food basket in the country.

He said that the launch of CNAP is geared towards providing a road-map for all the stakeholders to reverse and address the burden of malnutrition

“As a county we have a target of reducing malnutrition by 50% in the next five years as outlined in our 2018-2022 CIDP,” he said.

Sang further said that it requires a multi-sectoral approach to address the menace by bringing on board health, agriculture, education, gender, sports, water and sanitation professionals among others.

Other notable interventions by the county is the increasing of nutrition staff from 18 in 2017 to 74 in 2019.

The governor urged residents to embrace vegetable gardens as a source of direct nutrients to address malnutrition.

On his part NI President Joel Spicer regretted that one out of every three people in the world is malnourished.

Spicer however said that the challenge is solvable if only the health system could create health for its people.

The president pointed that adolescent girls and women are the most vulnerable due to biological and sociological aspects.

“The women and girls tend to the farms, plant, harvest, cook, eat last and least thus spurring malnutrition,” he explained.

The solution he said lies at low cost intervention mechanisms which need to be up scaled by actively involving individuals, families and the communities.

NI, he said, has been working in Sub Saharan Africa in the past 25 years fighting against malnutrition.

In Kenya, it is helping 16 counties, among the fast moving counties in reducing the cases include Nandi, Makueni, Vihiga and Busia.

By Bethsheba Abuya

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