The Canadian Legislators have lauded the Makueni County Government in partnership with Nutrition International (NI) for implementing primary health programmes addressing malnutrition, particularly for women and children in the county.
The programme funded by the Government of Canada is supporting the scaling up of the low cost high impact nutrition intervention and children while also strengthening the enabling environment for nutrition programming and governance.
“It’s extremely gratified to have an opportunity here today and see the successful implementation of the programme by Makueni county government and NI programme, I know they have done exemplary model of this and great pilot for everyone to follow along,” said MP Valerie Bradford on Tuesday during a press briefing outside Governor’s office in Wote.
Bradford was accompanied by three colleagues are in Makueni to learn and witness how the County is utilizing support from the Government of Canada in addressing malnutrition that are greatly affecting pregnant Women and young children.
“We have witnessed first-hand how the Government of Canada’s support is complementing the efforts of the Government of Makueni County to address malnutrition, particularly for women and children,” added MP Bradford.
The delegation visited sites where the programmes are being implemented, including a referral hospital, school and a community site and learned about the maternal, child and adolescent health and nutrition programs.
“We met development partners, community workers and everyday Kenyans, and have seen the role Canada can play in fostering impactful development policy and support, said MP Scott Aitchison.
Parliamentarians Eric Melillo and Iqwinder Gaheer were also present.
They were also given the chance to observe mother-to-mother and father-to-father support groups, where parents can share their experiences and learn new information, including the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding practices.
“As the challenges of malnutrition continue to multiply, it is inspiring to see initiatives on the ground that are working to turn the tide,” said Results Canada Executive Director Chris Dendys.
According to NI county profile report of 2022, currently over 98 percent of pregnant women attending Antenatal Clinic in the county has been receiving Iron Folic Acid Supplementation (IFAS) to reduce anaemia in pregnancy.
Also through the initiative that started in 2016, at least 445 primary and secondary schools are currently implementing Nutrition education to boys and girls and also providing weekly Iron Folate Supplementation (WIFs) for girls.
“With its county nutrition action plan, the Government of Makueni County has taken concrete action to improve nutrition programmes and policies to bolster the health and wellbeing of the population,” said Martha Nyagaya, Country Director Nutrition International Kenya.
The tour comes at a time when the county is reeling from the adverse impacts of a prolonged drought and a high cost of living that has caused hunger and malnutrition in many parts of Kenya.
Area Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior appreciated the support offered by the Canadian Government and challenged the residents to take nutrition of the young children seriously in enhancing their growth.
“The programme will have a generational impact and we hope in the next 10 years we are going to witness the fruits of these children who have benefited from the nutrients by Nutrition International, by the time NI will leave Makueni they will have made a lifetime mark for our people in matters nutrition,” said Mutula.
When you go to Canada, please pass our regards and tell them we are grateful to the government for the resources and the taxes by the Canadians that have been put into good use in Makueni,” added Mutula.