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Kiambu County, Kenya – While recognizing World Breastfeeding Week in August, Nutrition International unveiled Anzilisha Plus in Kiambu County, Kenya. Building on the work of the Right Start, or Anzilisha, initiative launched in 2016, Anzilisha Plus will address undernutrition in pregnancy and the first 1,000 days through a new direct county partnership model.

Continuing Right Start’s efforts to deliver maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition programming, Anzilisha Plus will reach 70,878 pregnant women, 67,402 newborns and 282,384 children under five in Kiambu County with improved nutrition. This phase will see Nutrition International engage directly with the counties to build the capacity of county governments to implement programs and strengthen local ownership of nutrition interventions.

“The Anzilisha Plus program is focusing on strengthening maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition services in the county, where breastfeeding is one of the key indicators of focus,” said Mary Kamau, Kiambu County Executive Committee Member for Health. “We are happy to have this program in this county, and are impressed with its approach to primary health care.”

Nutrition International has already been working in Kiambu County, supporting vitamin A supplementation and establishing Kangaroo Mother Care at level five hospitals in the towns of Gatundu and Thika. Anzilisha Plus will build the capacity of health managers, frontline health care providers and community health workers to implement key packages, including the Baby Friendly Community Initiative, birth package interventions, antenatal care, and adolescent nutrition.

Other priority counties for Anzilisha Plus are Vihiga, Nandi, Kajjado, Nakuru, Murangá, Embu, Busia, Makueni, and Bomet. Nutrition International is providing both technical and financial assistance to the county governments to strengthen health systems and support quality delivery of services at health facilities and at the community level.

To mark World Breastfeeding Week, Kiambu County opened its first breastfeeding room at the Gatundu Level Five Hospital. The room is part of the county’s efforts to ensure mothers have access to parent-friendly workplaces, in accordance with the Kenya Health Act 2017.