West Pokot government urged to set aside funds to fight malnutrition scourge

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo

Civil Society Organisation working in West Pokot County have urged the County government to embrace a multi sector approach and set aside a specific budget to fight malnutrition because it is now a crisis in the County. West Pokot County has a high malnutrition rate at 45.9% more than the national figure of 35% according to the demographic health report of 2014 because of of poor feeding due to food insecurity.

The civil societies which have presented a memorandum to the County government to factor in funds in the budget for the next financial year for fighting malnutrition to avert deaths related to the scourge. “We should step up to this challenge and ensure we promote good health among children,” he said.

Speaking in Kapenguria during a stakeholders meeting by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Organization, Kapenguria Theatre Group board chairperson Mr. Francis Soprin said the County should have a specific budget for nutrition to help avert malnutrition problem. Soprin  said that the County governments should ensure that their budgets on Health, Agriculture, Education, Water and Sanitation should factor in the aspect of Nutrition. He said that good nutrition was very crucial for children below 5 years of age.

The chairman called on the County governments to ensure that adequate health personnel for nutrition in their Counties are well represented. He called on the County government to allocate more funds to nutritional programs, in order to reduce the burden of malnutrition.

He also pointed out that most mothers in the County do not exclusively breastfed their children the first six months and this has also contributed to the malnutrition problem. Pokot Women Empowerment Organization Director Leah Chebitwey said malnutrition cases in the country are taking a lot of resources and nongovernmental organizations cannot be able to control the problem alone.