The Minister for Public Health and Sanitation, Beth Mugo, made the announcement that the Kenyan government will spend $70.6million in the next five years to scale up nutrition in the country. She said the money will be spread across line ministries to improve the health of Kenyans.
Kenya is the 30th United Nations country to sign-up with the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement.
According to the Minister during the official launch of Scaling Up Nutrition Symposium in Nairobi, “The solutions to malnutrition are practical and basic. We recognize that they have to be applied at scale and prioritized in the national development agenda. The scope of interventions has to shift from targeting emergencies to focusing on addressing poor nutrition practices.”
The line ministries include Public Health and Sanitation, Water and Irrigation, Fisheries Development, Agriculture, National Planning and Development.
The minister also noted that reducing malnutrition in Kenya is not just a health priority but also a political choice that calls for a multi-sectoral focus and political goodwill. She pointed out that communities will be empowered to claim their right to good nutrition and guided to play their role towards realising this right.
Scale Up Nutrition (SUN), has packaged a set of high impact interventions and all of them are part of Kenya’s strategies, to elevate matters concerning nutrition to the national level. Several efforts and resources have been deployed showing the government’s renewed commitment to nutrition as demonstrated by the development of the first Kenya National Food and Nutrition Security Policy (FNSP) in 2011 which links food and nutrition issues together.
The Minister also pointed out that the government requires additional resources to strengthen systems that are required to scale up nutrition interventions and end all forms of malnutrition and this has seen a gradual increase in budgetary allocation to nutrition.