Embu County seeks 1.5Billion through the developed County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP) – 2020/2025 for Nutrition improvement within the next 5 years
This comes after the Kenya Demographic Health survey conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics which revealed that 26.8% children under five years suffer from stunted growth, 11% are underweight while 3% are wasted.
Speaking in a meeting with members of county assembly. Embu deputy Governor who is also the acting county executive Committee member for health, David Kariuki said that the department is seeking funds to facilitate behavior change for adoption of sound Nutrition practices.
“The funds will be used to train residents especially parents and caregiver on proper Nutrition practices to avoid cases of Malnutrition “, said the Deputy Governor.
The meeting revealed that more than 30 percent of children in Embu consume meals that do not meet minimum nutrition standards.
Parents and caregivers across the county have been advised to diversify diets that they feed their children in order to improve the quality of the meals offered to children and hence improve the quality of life.
Stunted growth could be more rampant in the lower sides of the county where food insecurity is mostly reported. However children in the tea growing zones are also prone to under nutrition due as the caregivers are more engaged in the tea farming activities and could have inadequate time to feed the children.
Effects of poor nutrition and feeding habits include low IQ contributing to poor performance in school and frequent illnesses.
Further it was noted that little can be done to correct stunted growth after the first 2years of life.
The deputy governor urged residents to start baby friendly initiatives through community health volunteers to combat the surge of the said nutritional challenges.
Starting April this year, the county government in partnership with Kathagariri tea factory, Friends of Heath and Meenakhish Hospital from India will conduct medical camps at ward level on the effects of non-communicable diseases, cancer and post Covid -19 effects on adolescent girls.
Further, the County government department of health disbursed Kshs 10 Million to all level 2 & 3 hospitals meant for foregone user fee.
An additional Kshs 4.9 million has been sent to health facilities from DANIDA and Kshs 6 million from the same development partner.
Nutrition International is looking forward to a joint funding model with Embu County that will support implementation of the CNAP. The county pledged to allocate 10Million to the partnership and Nutrition International will match the fund with an additional 10Million.