Stop huge malnutrition threat to our children

What you need to know:

  • Malnutrition prevents children from accomplishing their complete physical and mental capabilities.
  • Statistics show one million children under five and more than 100,000 pregnant and nursing women need urgent treatment for malnutrition in Kenya.
  • The number of acutely malnourished children is 942,000 from 884,464 last month while pregnant and nursing women in need of treatment for the severe famine is 134,000, up from 115,727.

Malnutrition has a negative effect on the quality of life.

The affected population records the highest number of hospital admission and mortality rates.

The condition is more than a lack of food: It is caused by insufficient protein, energy and micronutrients; frequent infections or disease; poor care and feeding practices; inadequate health services; and poor water and sanitation.

Infants and young children are the most susceptible because of their high nutritional needs for growth and development.

The first 1,000 days of a child is the period between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday.

This is considered the most critical period for the child as it is when its brain begins to grow and develop.

Malnutrition prevents children from accomplishing their complete physical and mental capabilities.

According to Unicef, malnutrition in children is characterised by a number of issues relating to inadequate food consumption or severe and recurring infections or both.

Urgent treatment

National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) statistics show one million children under five and more than 100,000 pregnant and nursing women need urgent treatment for malnutrition.

The number of acutely malnourished children is 942,000 from 884,464 last month while pregnant and nursing women in need of treatment for the severe famine is 134,000, up from 115,727.

This is at a time when the country has been recording a shortage of ready-to-use therapeutic foods used to fight severe acute malnutrition, a major cause of death in children under five.

The foods are to severely malnourished children what antibiotics are to adults with pneumonia, and their stock-outs lead to the deaths of many children under five.

The Health ministry lists them as an essential medicine, procured by Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) and distributed to counties.

The government needs to move with speed to ensure that the situation is arrested; if not, the development of the affected children will be highly affected.

Good nutrition is critical for the survival, health and development of a child.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.