By Lorraine Anyango.
Kisumu county now has evidence to advocate for increased resource allocation for nutrition interventions.
This evidence proves that for every one shilling the county invests in nutrition, it will get six shillings in return.
Kisumu is the first county in Kenya to have a nutrition investment case developed to inform decisions on how, where and what amount to invest in nutrition for the highest returns.
In the next five years, this investment compounded will translate into 1,695 stunting cases averted, 650 cases of child death averted,9,932 anemia prevented in women who are not pregnant and 7,893 cases of anemia in pregnant women will be averted.
However, this return will only be realized if Kisumu County invests a total of 224, 353,360 in high-impact multi-sectoral interventions in the next five years in health.
The agriculture department will need to have an investment of up to 268,560,000 in high-impact nutrition intervention, social protection will require an invest a total of 109, 725,000, and the Education department will require 977,690,000 for the next five years, the department of water will have however required the highest investment totaling to 1, 368, 972,600.
This evidence, which is an economic analysis for the Multi-sectoral nutrition advocacy was arrived at by considering the cost of hunger, which is the cost of malnutrition and the burden it puts on health, education, and the productivity sector.
The cost of the County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP) and an in-depth analysis of the planned nutrition-specific interventions, the scale-up analysis of health impact, and the economic analysis for the proposed intervention were also put into consideration.
The development of the Kisumu Nutrition investment case was supported by USAID ‘Advancing Nutrition’ program and was disseminated at a dinner event attended by the MSN stakeholders led by the CECM Education Mr. John Awiti and Acting chief officer in the Department of Water Mr. Maurice Owino
Mr. Owiti said that MSN was co to the current regime and that they would sit together with the Governor and other CECMs and deliberate on it further.
He appreciated the synergy realized by the different sectors working together under the MSN platform to push for matters of nutrition.
The Kisumu investment case for MSN was developed by two consultants namely Dr. Daniel Mwai and Dr. David Njuguna who are health economists. Dr. Mwai emphasized that the envisioned returns can only be achieved through a consulted effort while noting that investing in prevention is better.
Also present during the dissemination from USAID-Advancing Nutrition was Dr. Emily Teshome Nutrition Sensitive Advisor, Mrs. Jocye Nyaboga, Capacity strengthening Advisor, and Mr. Rodgers Ochieng County Technical coordinator Kisumu, County.
Dr. Teshome said that for the longest time, financing of nutrition scored the lowest hence there were recommendations to scale up support for nutrition interventions through a multi-sectoral approach- leverage resources as well as advocate for increased investments for nutrition interventions in the county, though the development of policy briefs as advocacy tools.
“Paying attention to both nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific actions is a common approach adopted for optimal and long-lasting Nutrition impact.” Dr. Teshome added.
The value for analysis in the investment case gives specifics of how much to invest per nutrition-specific and sensitive interventions. some of the interventions include increasing fish production, provision of food items for centralized school feeding programs, and cash transfer to children below 36 months among others.
Kisumu’s county nutrition coordinator Mrs. Rael Mwando quoted the KDHS 2022 which indicates that nine percent of children in Kisumu are stunted, while those who have low weight height (wasted) are three percent.
3.5 % of children are underweight while 2.1% are obese. These new KDHS recording findings are an improvement since the previous data indicated that Kisumu had 18 percent of stunting.
Further, 44 %of children consume a minimally acceptable diet,80% of children under 5 years consume a diet deficient in iron, and 38.3 %of the women attending anti-natal care clinics have recorded Hb of less than 11 g/dl.
About 71.3% of households are food insecure, while those moderately food insecure are 26.3% and those facing severe food insecurity are 45% of the population and those with the least commonly available foods which include iron-rich foods are 13.9%.
Since the inception of the Kisumu MSN, some progresses have been registered including capacity assessment done to Health, Agriculture, and four Civil Society Organization.
Nutrition champions from the seven sub-counties have been identified and a total of 45 champions have also been trained and officially appointed to do advocacy.
Stakeholders of MSN have also customized the Advocacy, communication, and social mobilization, and plans to adopt the same are underway. Civil Society Alliance members have been trained on advocacy and advocacy messages developed and disseminated to nutrition champions
There have been joint work plan priorities identified for FY 2022/ 2023, under which the health department allocated 1.5 million, Agriculture allocated for Agri-nutrition 2 million, and the education budget for 7 million for the school feeding program.
Other progress recorded include training in the development of a financial tracking tool, training in its use, and populating the same quarterly achieved.
Mapping of partners supporting MSN was also done, done and TORs for MSN operations were developed, and a coordination platform was established at the county and all the 7 Sub counties.
About 30 MSN stakeholders have been trained in governance and partnership. CNAP, FSNP, and ANIS have been disseminated.
Training on nutrition the score card has been done and multisectoral indicators for both nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific identified
Support supervision checklist for nutrition multi-sectors developed aligned to joint work plans for FY 2022/2023 and training for different media groups on nutrition also done.