REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Interventions to improve nutrition and curb NCDs. NAIROBI, KENYA SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri and head of Preventive and Promotive Health Dr Peter Cherutich at an exhibition during the 2nd Agri-Nutrition conference in Nairobi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Government has launched three key documents to guide Kenyans in healthy diets to improve nutrition and curb Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs).

The Kenya Food Composition Tables 2018, Kenyan Food Recipes 2018 and the National Guidelines for Healthy Diets and Physical Activity were unveiled on Tuesday 11, 2018 during the Agri-Nutrition Conference at The Kenya School of Government.

The documents contain food composition data which forms the basis for most aspects of food and nutrition.

During the launch, Health Cabinet (CS), Sicily Kariuki who was represented by the Head of Preventive and Promotive Health, Dr. Peter Cherutich revealed that the Ministry of Health is committed to strengthening agriculture nutrition linkage towards realization of the Big 4 agenda by 2022.

“The achievement of universal health coverage will not be possible without sustainable food security and vice versa and therefore the need for close collaboration among Health, Agriculture and other enabling sectors,” she said.

The CS revealed that the Ministry is implementing high impact nutrition interventions such as exclusive breastfeeding; timely complementary feeding; iron, folate, vitamin A and zinc supplementation; hand washing; deworming; food fortification and management of moderate and severe acute malnutrition.

“These interventions have boosted key nutrition indicators in the past decade enabling Kenya to be recognized as the only country on course towards achievement of the five World Health Assembly targets out of 74 countries. Stunting levels have declined from 35% in 2009 to 26% in 2014, wasting levels from 7% to 4% in the same period while the rate of exclusively breastfeeding have improved from 32% to 61%,” she noted

Despite the improvement, the CS however acknowledged that food insecurity and malnutrition is still a major challenge in Kenya, as currently the country is experiencing the triple burden of malnutrition namely under nutrition, overweight & obesity and micronutrient deficiencies. It is estimated that malnutrition costs African economies between 3 and 16% of GDP annually, resources which could be directed to economic development, she said.

“Addressing malnutrition requires multi-sectoral interventions and investments that target the immediate, underlying and basic causes. As a Ministry, we are working with food and nutrition security stakeholders and line ministries to come up with sustainable interventions that address the triple burden of malnutrition,” she noted.

She said the government is committed to ensuring food and nutrition security and thanked FAO fraternity, the Kenya Agriculture, Livestock and Research Organization and the Nutrition International for supporting nutrition services in the country.

“Because of your support, Kenya has received global recognition by International Network of Food Data Systems (INFOODS),” she said.