Over 251, 000 children aged five years and below in seven Sub Counties in Kilifi are to receive enhanced food and nutrition security through multi-sectoral interventions coordinated by World Vision.
This will reduce the cost of managing malnutrition in the County, which is categorized as Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) for being characterized by repeated cycles of drought and food insecurity.
Kilifi County nutrition coordinator Ronald Mbunya who presented a report, said two out of every five children in the area are stunted, comprising over 40 percent of the targeted children, hence the plan will help to reduce the cost of managing malnutrition.
He said good nutrition through provision of food for the under 5 children, will reduce absenteeism and repetition of classes as has been experienced in schools in the past.
“Stunted growth among our children has posed a major challenge for their development. One in every two children in Ganze, Kaloleni and Magarini Sub Counties are stunted. This translates to 46 percent of the children,” he said.
Mbunya was speaking Tuesday during the launch of 2019/ 2022 County Nutrition Plan at a Kilifi hotel which was presided over by deputy governor Gideon Saburi.
Saburi said the County will partner with all non-governmental agencies and friends to provide food supplements and better health services to children and the needy population.
He said it is the responsibility of the County to ensure good health services for her people and welcomed the plan that will have multi-sectoral actions by all stakeholders for healthy child growth and development.
“Despite financial challenges, we are determined as a County to partner with our supporters in the health sector and ensure our children grow to be better citizens who will be out of poverty. We have only 89 functional health units, representing 30 percent of coverage of the total need of 276 with only 33 nutritionists,” he said.
Present were representatives of UNICEF, Self Help Africa, UKaid, USAID, World Vision, PEPFAR and Kenya Red Cross.
By Harrison Yeri