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On November 18th, Busia County launched its County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP) in the presence of the County Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’, Nutrition International President and CEO Joel Spicer, Nutrition International Africa Regional Director, Dr. Richard Pendame and Nutrition International Kenya Country Director, Martha Nyagaya.

In Busia County, undernutrition affects mainly women and children, especially during the first 1,000 days (from conception to a child’s second birthday) due to their high nutrient requirement. Stunting is the predominant form of malnutrition in the county, standing at 22%, while 9.5% and 2.2% of the children under five are underweight and wasted, respectively (Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2014). The CNAP aims to reduce the prevalence of stunting among children under five by 40%, childhood wasting to less than 5%, childhood underweight to less than 10% and improve the nutrition status of the general population.

The county has prioritized the improvement of food and nutrition security in its County Integrated Development Plan 2018-2022 (CIDP).

“This CNAP demonstrates the County government’s commitment to its vision of making Busia a healthy, productive and internationally competitive county,” said the Honourable Moses Mulomi, Deputy Governor of Busia County.

Ms. Nyagaya congratulated the county stakeholders for a job well done. “The development and launch of the Busia CNAP is a clear and powerful signal of the county’s leadership to make nutrition a priority for a healthier population,” she said.

Adolescent girls from Busibwabo and St Joseph’s primary schools and Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School presented songs and poems to celebrate the positive impact of Nutrition International’s weekly iron and folic acid supplementation program, which gave them ‘wings to fly.’ A song by St. Joseph’s Primary School girls called on leaders and caregivers to “say yes to children and make the world a better place!” “Never again shall we suffer from anaemia!” was the message in a poem recited by adolescent girls from Busibwabo Primary School.

Mr. Spicer echoed the call by adolescent girls. “Women and girls have a right to good nutrition, in order to ‘fly and touch the sky’,” he said “They are key in breaking the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition. That is our focus at Nutrition International.”

Governor Ojaamong’ pledged his government’s support to implementation of the CNAP and allocation of resources to nutrition programs. “Through partner support, we now have our first roadmap towards good nutrition. This document will be utilized in resource mobilization. My government commits to work with Nutrition International and other partners in ensuring we achieve our goal of healthy people and healthy county,” he added.

The CNAP includes 10 key result areas, focused around three themes: nutrition-specific interventions, nutrition-sensitive interventions and enabling environment. The total cost of implementing the Busia CNAP for five years is estimated at Ksh2.1 billion.

Nutrition International has invested a total of Ksh7.2 million in Busia County to optimize the provision of gender-sensitive and responsive adolescent nutrition interventions through its Right Start (Anzilisha) initiative.