ICCO Cooperation partners with Kakamega County for their County Nutrition Action Plan
The Kakamega county department of Health and ICCO Cooperation have presented a multi-sectoral plan to end malnutrition in the county. Among other speakers, acting County Director Health Services Dr. John Otieno and ICCO’s Hélène van der Roest were present at the launch in Kakamega Town.
Although the county has made significant strides towards reversing downward trends in malnutrition, Kakamega County’s Dr. Collins K. Matemba states in the plan’s foreword that the county standards “still do not meet the national and international goals when it comes to malnutrition.”
The County government and ICCO therefore join forces to make an end to malnutrition in Kakamega. “The Kakamega County Nutrition Action Plan recognizes the role of nutrition as a fundamental human right and a driver for rapid economic growth,” Dr. John Otieno stated in his speech during the event. “Therefore, this document will provide guidelines for implementing nutritional interventions in the county.”
The renewal of the commitment by the Ministry of Health through the use of agricultural extension officers is a big step forward, says ICCO Cooperation’s Regional Manager in Central, Eastern & Southern Africa Hélène van der Roest. “Kenya is one of the seven countries globally classified as having a triple burden of malnutrition, under-nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies such as anemia, overweight and obesity,” Van der Roest says. “ICCO calls on the county government of Kakamega to prioritize and allocate adequate resources to the nutrition and agriculture departments, so that this problem will soon be a matter of the past in this great county.
“In Kakamega county there are only 15 government nutritionists who work in our sub-county health facilities, while we are supposed to have 200 nutritionists,” Honorable Auxillia Nyamwoma, member of county assembly Kakamega county says. “This plan should lead to a higher allocation of money for more nutritionists in Kakamega.”
Kakamega County, a marginalized county in Western Kenya, has a population of 1.9 million people. The county has stated that 10.5% children under five years old are underweight, 28.4% of children under five years old are stunted and 10.3% of children under five years old are underweight.
“This action plan will be used as an advocacy tool but also as a budgeting and planning tool to ensure elimination of all forms of malnutrition in Kakamega,” mister Otieno states in his speech. “We will make a mid-term review of the progress made on the county nutrition action plan. This is an important milestone on how the government can work together with partners to achieve the national and international nutrition objectives.”
“It is imperative for all the stakeholders to continue working together to see the implementation of this plan. I therefore call on the CSOs, development partners and the various county government departments to strengthen their efforts in implementation of this plan, because a plan is as good as its implementation” Susan Githaiga stated as she thanked the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for partnering with the Civic Engagement Alliance to actualize the right to food and nutrition in Kakamega.
To learn more about the Kakamega County Nutrition Action Plan, contact Susan Githaiga, Country Manager of ICCO Kenya: +254 726 413 917 / email@example.com