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More children to benefit from nutrition programme  

Turkana County Health and Sanitation Department in conjunction with the State Department of Children Services (DCS) has embarked on enhancing nutrition in all 43 community health units in Turkana West sub-county through Cash and Health Education (NICHE) programme.

The NICHE programme, which has already been rolled out in Turkana Central, Loima and Turkana South Sub-counties, is expected to improve the nutritional status of children in the first 1,000 days of life.

The programme provides a top-up of Sh500 per target child under 24 months and/or expectant woman, capped at two beneficiaries per household.

While addressing the Turkana West Sub-County Health Management team, Chief Officer for Preventive and Promotive Health, Peter Lomorukai urged the participants to apply the lessons and experiences learnt during the implementation process in the previous sub-counties.

He stressed that the program was especially important to Turkana County as the region continues to grapple with persistent acute malnutrition.

The County’s Children Services department said the beneficiaries of the program are drawn from the National Disaster Management Authority, Inua Jamii and Hunger Safety Net cash transfer programs.

On his part, the Deputy Director for Family Health, Gabriel Lopodo highlighted that one of the underlining causes of malnutrition was inadequate household care practices among the care providers, which they intend to address through health education.

According to the Deputy Director for Community Health Services Dr Joseph Lolepo the need to involve the community health promoters is critical, as they are the first point of contact on matters health for any household.

On her part, the County Nutrition Coordinator, Cynthia Lokidor attributed malnutrition in the region to mainly household food insecurity.

By Peter Gitonga

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