Kilifi government kicks-off three year nutrition plan to fight stunted growth

Stakeholders during the launch of the county nutrition action plan 2019-2022. The county Government of Kilifi has unveiled a three-year Nutrition Action Plan to guide nutrition programming essential for healthy development./COURTESY

Kilifi County government has launched a three-year nutrition plan that will help the county in fighting malnutrition and stunted growth after it emerged that at least 86,833 children in the County are much shorter than their age requires.

Two out of five children in Kilifi are stunted, meaning that their age does not correspond with their height, with Ganze, Kaloleni and Magarini being the worst hit.

A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that one out of every two children in Ganze, Kilifi, Magarini and Kaloleni sub-counties are stunted.

The report also shows that three in ever ten children in Kilifi Sounth, Kilifi North, Malindi and Rabai sub-counties are stunted.

Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, who was the chief guest at the unveiling of the program said the program, which started in 2019, is important to ensure there is proper plan for nutrition of children and their mothers to avoid cases of stunted growth.

“By 2022 we expect to have improved the livelihood of children and mothers and it shall be seen in their development,” said Saburi.

The Deputy Governor said studies were done prior to the launch to find the best way to address the challenge of malnutrition and that an advisory committee will be going to the grassroots to to advise on the way forward.

Also at the launch was Kilifi County Health CEC Charles Dadu who said the program focuses on both children and mothers.

“The policy will check different areas including food production, sensitization, drugs and supplements for both children and women because both the health of mother and child are important,” said the CEC.

Even though the number of nutrition workers in Kilifi has increased. the County is still facing shortage hence the County government intends to also have interns who will support in the work and later on be absorbed by he county as workers.