Provide critical nutrients to women and children

 
$6,232
$3,768
Raised
Remaining
Jun 20, 2014

Nutrition for women and children in Kenya: Final Update

Final update: June 13, 2014

As our previous posts have related, nutrition in Kenya is a challenge: deficiencies in important vitamins and other micronutrients are high, with nearly 70% of children under five anemic and few nutritious products affordable and available to lower-income consumers.

GAIN’s distribution of home nutrition packets containing a micronutrient-rich powder began in 2012, as a part of the first phase of a nation-wide campaign led by the Government of Kenya to reach 2.1 million children. With support through Global Giving and others, GAIN has made significant progress in fighting undernutrition in Kenya. Recent accomplishments include: 

  • In 2013, free micronutrient packet distribution reached 120,000 children aged 6-23 months, along with an initial, limited, commercial rollout.
  • Distribution of 10 million packets donated by DSM has been taking place in parts of the Rift Valley, Coast and Eastern provinces.
  • The second batch of 10 million packets has arrived for the next round of distribution.
  • Training has taken place for Kenyan community health workers and others on how micronutrient packets fit into optimal infant and young child feeding practices (including the importance of breastfeeding)
  • Several rounds of training have also taken place for public health workers and retailers to promote home fortification and good hygiene practices.
  • Thanks in part to GAIN’s national advocacy efforts, these kinds of micronutrient supplements are now included in Kenya's national maternal, infant and young child nutrition strategies.

Our thanks to everyone who supported this effort!

Jul 1, 2013

Future Fortified update

For the past six months, GAIN an its partners have been getting critical nutrients to young children in southern Kenya. And you have made this possible!

Your contribution to GAIN's Global Giving project is being leveraged with additional contributions to GAIN's Future Fortified campaign to help give young children the right start to a healthy, productive life through access to good nutrition. Check out our video to see how your contribution is making an impact.

The distribution of the multi-nutrient "MixMe" packets is straightforward: caretakers receive a monthly allotment of MixMe for their children 6 to 23 months old during monthly clinic visits. Community health workers also carry out household visits to assess use, adherence, and promote behavior change. This first phase of the project ended in June 2013 and will reach 9,000 children in the Kajiado district in southern Kenya.

As the first phase of this program comes to an end, GAIN is working to extend the project in Kajiado for an additional six months to continue to build capacity of the health workers and community health workers, and ensure uptake and adherence of the project. This includes increased engagement with women through regular “Mother to Mother” support groups as well as increased dialogue with men and community leaders.

Thank you for your ongoing support of this important project.Good nutrition is essential to give children the right start at life. For more information, visit www.FutureFortified.org. Together we can fortify the future!

Feb 25, 2013

Project Update 2013: Kenya Fortified

Over the past year through Global Giving, you have contributed and invested in good nutrition in Kenya - a Kenya Fortified. Thanks to you, together with community organizations, local businesses and the Kenyan Government, we we are right now reaching over 20,000 children in southern Kenya with the vitamins and minerals they need to live, grow and learn.

I just got back from visiting our program in Kenya, and what I saw was an incredible network of powerful, local women – community leaders, health workers and mothers – working together to help nourish the future. 
 
Watch our new video and learn about them.

As Kenya begins to recover from drought and resulting food crisis, now is the time to invest in lasting solutions to increase access to good nutrition, especially for pregnant women and young children. This is just the first step. Over the next six months, health workers will continue to educate mothers about the importance of good nutrition and the proper use of home nutrition packets. This work is ongoing, because good nutrition matters every single day.

Your contribution to this project is being leveraged with additional contributions to GAIN's Future Fortified campaign. Thank you for your ongoing support of this important project.Good nutrition is essential to give children the right start at life. For more information, visit www.FutureFortified.org. Together we can fortify the future!

Links:

Oct 19, 2012

Kenya Fortified: Project Update October 2012

Trainings begin in the Kajiado District, Kenya
Trainings begin in the Kajiado District, Kenya

On behalf of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), I am pleased to provide an updated on our "Kenya Fortified" project, in which we are working to improve nutrition for children 6 to 24 months in Kenya.

As reported earlier, Kenya sits in the midst of one of the most food insecure regions in the world. 2.4 million Kenyans are food insecure, meaning they are less likely to eat a diverse diet filled with the nutrients needed to lead healthy, productive lives. Micronutrient deficiencies are particularly prevalent among pregnant women and young children. According to the latest micronutrient survey (1999), Kenyan children under five have alarmingly high rates of Vitamin A deficiency (84%) and Anaemia (69%), leading to higher rates of blindness, illness and even death from common childhood infections such as diarrhea  and measles. In Kenya, 35% of children are stunted (low height for age), a primary manifestation of malnutrition in childhood that is, in turn, irreversible and untreatable.

Good nutrition is essential for children, specifically during the 1,000 days from a woman’s pregnancy to a child’s second birthday, putting children on the right for good physical and mental growth. As such, GAIN is working with the Government of Kenya to support a national program to improve the micro-nutrient status of children across the country by delivering home nutrition packets, providing the vitamins and minerals children need for good health and development.

Watch the Kenya Fortified Video to learn more.

Home nutrition packets are small packets filled with a mixture of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Iron and Zinc. By simply sprinkling the contents of the packet onto a child’s meal two to three times a week, a mother in Kenya can fortify her child with the essential nutrients she needs to have a strong immune system, good brain growth and, ultimately to reach her full potential. 

With initial commitments from global nutrition companies DSM and Herbalife of 20 million home nutrition “MixMe” packets, GAIN has been working with its in-country partners, including Feed the Children, to train community helath workers to ensure proper education of families on the importance of good nutrition and the proper use of home nutrition packets.

Your contribution to this project is being leveraged with additional contributions to GAIN's Future Fortified campaign to build capacity among community health workers within the Kajiado District in Kenya. Initial trainings at the regional and district level have already taken place. And as the home nutrition packets have recently arrived to Kenya, the final distribution of community health workers and the distribution is set to commence at the beginning of November.

We will continue to provide updates and provide photos as the project gets underway. Thank you for your ongoing support of this important project.Good nutrition is essential to give children the right start at life. For more information, visit www.FutureFortified.org. Together we can fortify the future!

Links:

May 31, 2012

Project Update: May 2012

Thank you to our generous donors who are helping the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) improve nutrition for women and children by providing the essential nutrients they need to lead healthy lives.

GAIN is currently working alongside the Government of Kenya and its partners, including Feed the Children and Phillips Healthcare, to embark on a country-wide effort to improve nutrition for 1.5 million Kenyan children between the ages of 6 months to two years. Kenya sits in the midst of one of the most food insecure regions in the world. 2.4 million Kenyans are food insecure, meaning they are less likely to eat a diverse diet filled with the nutrients needed to lead healthy, productive lives. Micronutrient deficiencies are particularly prevalent among pregnant women and young children. According to the latest micronutrient survey (1999), Kenyan children under five have alarmingly high rates of Vitamin A deficiency (84%) and Anaemia (69%), leading to higher rates of blindness, illness and even death from common childhood infections such as diarrhea  and measles. In Kenya, 35% of children are stunted (low height for age), a primary manifestation of malnutrition in childhood that is, in turn, irreversible and untreatable.

Good nutrition is essential for children, specifically during the 1,000 days from a woman’s pregnancy to a child’s second birthday, putting children on the right for good physical and mental growth. Good nutrition in the 1,000 day window impacts a child’s long-term well-being, helping them not only be healthier, but also smarter and more productive, which in turn impacts families, communities and whole economies. In support of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, GAIN is targeting children over 6 months to ensure they have access to nutritious complementary foods.

Through this project, GAIN is working with the Government of Kenya to support a national program to improve the micro-nutrient status of children across the country by delivering home nutrition packets, providing the vitamins and minerals children need for good health and development. Home nutrition packets are small packets filled with a mixture of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Iron and Zinc. By simply sprinkling the contents of the packet onto a child’s meal two to three times a week, a mother in Kenya can fortify her child with the essential nutrients she needs to have a strong immune system, good brain growth and, ultimately to reach her full potential. 

Several businesses have already stepped up. Global nutrition companies DSM and Herbalife have made a joint contribution of 20 million home nutrition “MixMe” packets. But in order to achieve impact, we need to support the education of mothers and families on importance and proper use of home nutrition packets.

That is where you come in. Each contribution to the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and its Future Fortified campaign is directed to training and capacity building among community health workers to ensure proper education of families on the importance of good nutrition and the proper use of home nutrition packets.

This is a critical step, for as we build awareness and education, we will also be building demand. Local suppliers are already working to get home nutrition packets on the market so mothers can access them every day at a price they can afford, leading to a long-term, sustainable impact.

As we continue to fund-raise, the project will begin to be implemented in June 2012 with the trainings of community health workers. We will share stories and photos throughout the summer as the project progresses. For more information, visit www.FutureFortified.org. Thank you for your ongoing support!

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Project Leader

Dale Cockman

Washington, DC United States

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