The county government of Garissa today unveiled a 5-year action plan to address acute cases of malnutrition in the area.
Speaking when he launched the plan at a Garissa hotel, Health CEC Roble Nunow said malnutrition is now a public health challenge that ‘the county has decided to face it head-on’.
Roble said malnutrition impairs education achievements and economic productivity costing the government and families’ enormous amount of money in medical costs.
“The high burden of malnutrition is not only a threat to achieving Vision 2030 but is also likely to impede our progress to realize Sustainable Development Goals,” Roble said, adding, the 5-year plan was an important step that provides the framework to address nutritional issues in the county.
“The plan will develop strong and quality human capital that will propel socio economic transformation,” he noted.
Roble said the Garissa County 2019-2023 action plan is aligned to the government’s Medium Term Plan to facilitate mainstreaming of the nutrition budgeting process into county development plans hence allocation of resources to nutrition programs.
According to a demographic health survey conducted in 2014, at least 15.6 percent of the population was stunted and would not reach its full potential later in life. In July 2019, a nutrition survey conducted showed 17.2 percent of children under 5 were malnourished with 2.3 percent of them acutely malnourished.
The CEC said ‘this is unacceptable’ and there is a need for urgent interventions that should be specific and sensitive actions to reverse the trend.
The Chief Officer of health Hassan Anshur said the sole aim of the plan was to provide quality, accessible and affordable health care services that are innovative and culturally acceptable to the people of Garissa County.
Anshur said the government will strive to improve nutrition services and better the health nutrition outcome as well as improve utilization of nutrition services. He thanked partner organizations for their continued support.
By Jacob Songok