Elgeyo Marakwet County has launched a Sh1.4 billion County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP) aimed at reducing prevalence of stunted growth among children under five years by 40% and reduce obesity among children.
The plan which will run to 2023 also seeks to reduce folic acid deficiency among pregnant women by 50 % in addition to reducing vitamin A and iodine deficiency among children under 5 years by 50%.
Speaking during the launch at the county headquarters, governor Alex Tolgos said while the county had improved access to basic health care, the prevalence rate of stunted growth among children was higher than the national average while the number of women attending the recommended four anti natal clinics stood at 24%.
The governor hailed the Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health (Enrich) programme which was being run by Nutrition International (NI) and World Vision Canada saying it had greatly assisted the county in bringing down cases of malnutrition among women and children.
“Since the launch of the ENRICH Programme in 2016, we have made tremendous progress in scaling up efforts to eradicate malnutrition in Elgeyo Marakwet County. This could not have been possible without the technical and financial support of our consortium partners,” he said.
Tolgos said the CNAP would further build on to the county’s deliberate efforts to prioritize nutritional services in food security and healthcare interventions adding that he would work closely with the assembly to allocate funds towards nutrition.
In his virtual address, the NI regional director Dr. Richard Pendame had challenged the county to allocate funds to CNAP to ensure continuity of nutrition services as the Enrich programme which started in 2016 comes to an end this year.
The County Assembly Health Committee chair Shadrack Luley and his budget counterpart John Yator promised to rally their colleagues and wananchi to ensure that funds were allocated in the budget to fund nutrition services.
By Alice Wanjiru