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Maternal and Child Nutrition in Siaya County, Kenya

The project aims at improving the nutritional status of children under the age of five and women of reproductive age living within Siaya County.

Despite some progress the 2014, Kenya Demographic and Health Survey still paints a daunting picture of the nutritional situation of children, particularly under the age of five, placing Siaya County as one of the lowest ranking in Kenya. About one quarter of the children under the age of five are stunted, the mortality rate among children remains unacceptable high. The under five mortality rate stands at 112 out of 1,000 children. Malnutrition and poor infant and young child feeding practices are important contributing factors. Furthermore, Siaya County has the second highest HIV prevalence rate in Kenya, amounting to 23.7% in 2014. Women are more affected than men.

Progress in improving the nutritional status has been slow due to poor policy implementation, weak formal health service delivery systems, harmful socio-cultural practices, gender inequity and inequalities and inadequate knowledge.

CARE Kenya, in partnership with Family Health Options Kenya, the Ministry of Health and other partner organizations was awarded a grant by the European Union, with co-funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation and CARE, to improve maternal and child health, sexual reproductive health, family planning and the nutritional status of communities living within Siaya County. Currently, the project operates in three sub Counties, Bondo, Rarieda and Gem. Between 28th September and 14th October 2016, 1,212 Community Health Volunteers (CHV) were trained in nutrition service delivery in order to empower them with the right knowledge, attitude and skills necessary for delivering quality nutrition services. In addition, 58 (out of 187 planned) Mother to Mother support groups have already been established. Each of the 58 groups has a membership of 1,203 mothers who have started their sessions. Facilitated by the CHVs, the sessions include trainings on the advantages of exclusive breastfeeding, immediate breast attachment after birth, nutrition and balanced diet and nutrition in pregnancy. Each Mother to Mother support groups meets at least once or twice a month.

After the three years of its implementation, the project will have reached 94,435 children under five years, 127,065 women of reproductive age, 42,000 adolescent girls and 20,000 men in the Siaya County.

Partner Organisations: CARE Kenya, Family Health Options Kenya, Kisumu Medical Education Trust, Ministry of Health, County Government of SIAYA, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

More detailed information regarding the project’s set-up, objectives and expected results, click here.