European Union (EU) has launched a 90.8 million project on Maternal and child Nutrition in West Pokot County that is set to benefit over 135,000 children in the semi arid region.
The project dubbed “Advocacy System strengthening and Capacity Enhancement for Nutrition Transformation ASCENT will be implemented by Action against Hunger organization in partnership with the County government.
Speaking during the launch of program in Kapenguria, National Director for Nutrition Gladys Mugambi said despite reduction of malnutrition in the County to 26 percent, West Pokot County still records worse cases of chronic malnutrition with 45.9 percent.
Mugambi said there is need for concerted effort by stakeholders to address the menace and ensure a health population.
She added that the situation has been caused by high illiteracy level in the county as mothers have no knowledge about balance diet for children.
“The ministry is addressing this by rolling out promotion health education to communities through our health partners and giving food supplements to mothers for children under the age of 5 years,” she said.
European Union head of Social affairs and Environment Dr. Hjordis Ogendo said the project is set to improve health care and boost maternal health care in semi arid region.
This project will have a significant impact in the lives of the children and especially women of reproductive age and children under the age of five,” said Ogendo.
West Pokot Deputy Governor Titus Lotee who unveiled the project hailed efforts made by development partners to support the county government to tackle malnutrition at various levels including capacity building of health facilities.
He said the County will continue to partner with other donors to improve healthcare in the county.
“In this financial year the county government recruited additional 17 nutritionists and 123 health workers from different health cadres,” he said.
He pointed out that the County now has 21 nutritionists which translate to 1 nutritionist per 27, 000 people compared to last year when there was 1 nutritionist per 82,000 people.