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!
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