HEALTH

West Pokot launches plan to end stunting

The county leads in Kenya in the rate of malnutrition at 45.9 per cent

In Summary

•Unicef said the move will reduce health inequalities and advance the attainment of Universal Health Care.

Unicef has launched two policies to help tackle the rising cases of malnutrition in West Pokot County.

 

The two policies, County Nutrition Action Plan 2019-2023 and County Community Health Services Act 2020 will help eliminate stunting by 2023.

The county leads in Kenya in the rate of malnutrition at 45.9 per cent, more than the national figure of 35 per cent, according to the 2014 demographic health report.

Speaking during the launch of policies, Unicef chief, field operations and emergency, Nicholas Wasunna, said the move will reduce health inequalities and advance the attainment of Universal Health Care.

“The project will ensure children access health services  so that they are not affected by stunted growth or malnutrition. This is a legal framework to deliver services for children and ensure that children are productive and are in schools,” he said.

West Pokot Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo said the policy frameworks will  strengthen the vital role played by Community Health Volunteers, who have increasingly become instrumental in bridging the gap between community and health care systems.

“I’m glad to announce that Unicef will offer capacity building to 400 CHVs, besides their donation of work tools namely service log books for keeping data of children with stunted growth, household registers, referral booklets, and identification jacket,” said Lonyangapuo.

The county boss lauded the organisation for its unwavering support not only in the sector of health but also in water, education and agriculture.

 

“We will continue working closely with Unicef with special attention to the documents unveiled today. As a county we are cognisant of the cases of malnutrition and stunted growth in children and are determined to eliminate it,” he said.

Lonyangapuo said that this has been demonstrated by active programmes which have been aligned to improve nutrition.

“They include provision of fortified porridge flour for ECDEs countywide, annual distribution of certified maize seeds to all households in West Pokot which covers an acre each and the fingerlings project at Turkwel Dam,” said the governor.

He noted that stunted growth has been on the rise for a long time adding that the project will incorporate 2500 community health volunteers.