Kenya Red Cross Society Partner To Fight Malnutrition

The Kenya Red Cross Society in partnership with the Taita Taveta Department of health has kicked off a 6-day-training exercise for healthcare providers from facilities across the county to equip them with necessary skills and knowledge to effectively deal with management of malnutrition in children under the age of five years.

Addressing participants of the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) course sponsored by Kenya Red Cross Services at Voi, Taita Taveta County Deputy Governor Christine Kilalo lauded the initiative noting that there is need for the healthcare providers to be equipped with knowledge and skills on the causes of malnutrition in the county to devise better ways to curb it.

‘There is need to equip healthcare providers with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively identify, refer, and follow up on cases of malnutrition in the county,’ she noted adding, ‘You need to invest your time to interact with your clients and understand the dynamics contributing to high malnutriti
on cases in our county. This is a social issue. Most families harvested a variety of foods last season, but you will find cases of malnutrition in these families, a worrying issue. This training is timely and we welcome more such forums.’

According to the course director and trainer Caroline Owange, the program has a broader strategy to promote healthcare delivery in a decent manner.

She stated that the training is much focusing on preventive and promotional service rather than the curative way which she said is expensive.

‘This holistic approach underscores the government’s commitment to tackling malnutrition comprehensively by ensuring that the affected children receive the care they need from identification to recovery,’ said Owange.

The county nutrition coordinator Pauline Mugo stated that participants will be taken through clinical signs and symptoms of malnutrition, procedures to deal with severely malnourished children and related illnesses.

While lauding UNICEF for their unwavering support toward
s managing malnutrition cases in the county, Mugo disclosed that malnutrition still remains a big threat to the growth and wellbeing of children in Taita Taveta.

Based on statistics by the National Information Platform for Food Security and Nutrition (NiPFN), nationally, the prevalence of stunting in children between 0-59 months is at 17.6%. The prevalence of wasting in children 0-59 months is at 5%, while the prevalence of birth weight of 2.5 kg and below is 8%.

NiPFN indicates that in Taita Taveta county, stunting for under 5 is classified as medium with a rate of 19.2% as Kilifi, West-Pokot and Samburu lead with the stunting rates of 37.0%, 33.5% and 31.4% respectively, hence classified as very high.

Kenya Red Cross Society project officer Everline Kisamo reiterated their commitment to working in partnership with county governments to enhance proper primary health care services, adding that the program is tailored towards providing skills that are required in mitigating malnutrition.

‘Apart from food s
ecurity and livelihood intervention, the project is supporting capacity building of health care workers on IMAM among other activities in the Nutrition Sensitive Programming component,’ said Mugo.

On her part, the County health service Chief Officer Violet Mkamburi noted that this is the third cohort of healthcare providers to undergo the IMAM course training stating that, ‘by the end of this training, a total of 70 healthcare providers will have been trained. This will help us in dealing with malnutrition across the county.’

Among those undergoing the training are medical officers, clinical officers, nurses, nutritionists and nutrition coordinators across the county.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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