by Lorraine Anyango.
Nurturing care encompasses good health and adequate nutrition, child safety and security, child development and responsive caregiving as well as opportunities for early learning.
These are components that participants drawn from varied sectors are being trained on, with the Department of Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation taking the lead.
The objectives of the training include helping participants understand the nurturing care framework for ECD, demonstrate the ability to counsel on good health, and adequate nutrition and refer to safe pregnancy, newborn care, and child health, as well as learn about a safe home environment including WASH, gain knowledge on child rights, protection, and positive discipline.
The fourth objective is to describe child development and demonstrate responsive caregiving while the fifth is to discuss effective communication for child development and the importance of play in ECD
The participants are learning the importance of giving young children opportunities for early learning, through interactions that are responsive and emotionally supportive.
They are also being sensitized to the need to provide environments that are sensitive to children’s health and nutritional needs that are responsive emotionally supportive as well as developmentally stimulating.
The entry point to the training is counseling mothers on preconception care and referralto safe pregnancy. Educating pregnant mothers on positive healthy practices during pregnancyand monitoring and identifying pregnancy danger signs and referring appropriately for prompt care.
The participants are specifically from cadres including nutritionists, nurses, clinical officers, lay volunteer counselors, social protection officers, community health assistants, children’s officers, program officers from relevant NGOs, FBOs & CBOs, ECDE ECD teachers, leaders from religious institutions (Christian, Muslim), community, Human resources officer as well as social media influencers.
Newborn care, child immunizations, and information on prioritized childhood diseases as well as exposing the children to quality activities that will aid their development are part of the training package.
The training gives a holistic approach to the well-being of the child without excluding infant and young child nutrition, highlighting optimal nutritional practices.
Under child security, the participants are made aware of risks and potential dangers in and around a home that may cause bodily harm, injury, or even death to those residing in and around the home while the emphasis is on making the home accident-free.
Pillars of children’s rights, elements of child registration and certification, and environmental safety are also part of the training.
The same Naturing and Care information given to the participants has been summarized and packaged in varied mediums and disseminated to members of the public through a campaign dubbed ‘KUWA KOCHA’. The training and ‘KUWA KOCHA’ campaign is implemented by Springboard Communication Consultants in Kisumu and Garissa through support from UNICEF.