In order to improve coverage of nutrition status in the county and save a large population from malnutrition deaths, the Ministry of Health and partners validated a survey report today that was carried out in the County in January 2023 at a tune of Ksh.9.7M.
Speaking today while opening the validation exercise in Lodwar the Chief Officer for Preventive and Promotive Health, Peter Lomorukai said that the objective of the survey was to improve nutritional status of the county by providing adequate information for even intervention.
The SMART (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief in Transition) survey follows a severe drought that is still affecting residents of Turkana County.
Lomorukai condemned some of the malpractices on the ground where food meant for the vulnerable is stolen, misappropriated thus jeopardizing government and partners’ efforts in salvaging the situation, calling on partners to help in stopping the criminality. “To steal food meant for vulnerable people in the society, is a criminal offense, and should be stopped.” Lomorukai stated.
He also appealed to partners in the cash transfer program to come up with a solution to help beneficiaries access cash near their villages to avoid long distance travels to far away towns, as they face hardships trying to get cash.
Lomorukai who is also the Ag. Chief Officer for Medical Services asked participants to carry out nutritional survey in the future by isolating sub counties, because of their unique nutritional status which is dependent on varied economic livelihoods. “Each Sub-County has a different way of survival, others are pastoralists, others are farmers, others are fishermen, they should be studied differently with different interventions, so that each vulnerable person is accessed with food and services.” He explained.
The Chief Officer commended partners and senior staff for conducting the timely survey and compiling its report.
The report indicated a remarkable improvement on nutritional status of the county, dropping to 27% in January 2023 from 34.8% in June 2022. However, Turkana South is still leading at 35.7% in the County despite various interventions.
On his part Save the Children programme Manager Dave Kianyo said that the survey was an important aspect in the provision of information that will influence and inform partners and government in implementation of activities that will cushion drought effects in the County.
While Director for Preventive and Promotive Health Bonaventure Ameyo appealed to the National Government to assist the partners and County Government in the provision of clean drinking water to residents.
The report will be presented to the County Steering Group tomorrow for further discussions.
The validation exercise was backed by Directors, Deputy Directors and a host of CHMT (County Health Management Team), and partner organizations such as Unicef Kenya, IRC, Save the Children Kenya, USAID Imarisha Jamii, Concern WorldWide, USAID Nawiri among others.