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Child malnutrition rate down, reports CS

George Kebaso @Morarak

Kenya has made significant progress in reducing cases of stunting, low weight and wasting in children. Health Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki says Kenya has been recognised as one of the countries on track to achieve World Health Assembly targets for nutrition, thanks to the improvement.

“Kenya has made significant progress in reducing the prevalence of stunting, underweight and wasting from 35 per cent, 16 per cent and seven per cent in 2009 to 26 per cent, 11 per cent and four per cent in 2014,” Kariuki said in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia early this week at the launch of the Africa Continent Nutrition scorecard at the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.

She cited maternal nutrition and education, vitamin and mineral supplementation to mothers and children, private sector involvement and mandatory fortification of wheat and maize flour with multiple micronutrients, as some of the interventions that have contributed to improved health for children.

Another initiative, she said, is the launch of the national food composition tables, Kenya food recipes and the national guidelines for healthy diets and physical activity in 2018, which are key in the promotion of diversified and healthy diets.

She said the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study initiative launched yesterday would help the country step up efforts of improving child nutrition. The COHA study has been completed in 10 countries.

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