Garissa County launches nutrition plan

Garissa County launches nutrition plan

Security and climatic changes have been cited as the biggest hindrance in addressing malnutrition of children and mothers in reproductive stage in Garissa County, this is according to senior officials.

Speaking during the launching of the Garissa County Nutrition Action Plan at a Garissa hotel, Deputy Governor Abdullahi Hussein said several health facilities used in addressing malnutrition in sub-counties had been closed due to insecurity.

Abdullahi said climatic changes such as drought in the area have also been an impediment in fighting malnutrition for children under the age of five and mothers at the reproductive stage, noting that a lot of effort is needed to wipe out the disaster.

He noted that personnel have been sent to Hulugho and Fafi sub-counties which were most affected by insecurity brought about by constant terror threats along the border.

Abdullahi said that said that the programme aims at making communities in the semi-arid and arid lands more resilient to the impact of drought.

He said the launch of the maternal and child nutrition programme and the county nutrition action will provide practical guidance to implementation of the county’s commitment to nutrition.

Abdullahi said that over the last seven years, remarkable progress has been made towards addressing chronic malnutrition in the county with stunted growth among children under 5 dropping from 25 per cent in the year 2008 to 15.6 per cent in 2014.

Malnutrition however still remains high in the county, with two out of ren children at risk of dying from malnutrition.

He said that so far the county had secured Sh52,144,127  out of Sh708,314,791 required to successfully implement nutrition programmes in the county over the next two years.

The programme which is part of the national programme targeting communities in ASAL counties under which about 1 million children under the age of 5 and 415,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers will be reached.

The function which was also attended by representatives of the International Medical Corp (IMC), UNICEF, Mercy-USA, Action Aid and other donors saw the launch of Maternal and child nutrition program which was contained in a book to ensure all work done by donors and the government is coordinated into one to avoid dissonance.

Hubbi Hussein, the CEC for Health, said malnutrition is a threat to sustainable development goals of the county because it affects education of children, noting that there is need to sensitise and involve communities in fighting malnutrition.

Hubbi said the county administration has given an enabling environment for all partners who are geared towards fighting malnutrition while at the same time asking more donors to consider giving more priority in the county.

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