Kwale County

Key Facts on Nutrition in Kwale

Data on stunting (chronic malnutrition)

3 out of every 10 children are stunted (29.7%)

Why it Matters!

  • Children who are not stunted don’t fall ill often
  • Children who escape stunting are 33% more likely to escape
    poverty as adults
  • An estimated 20% of stunting begins in the womb
  • Stunting contributes to; Impaired brain development, Lower
    IQ, Weakened immune systems
  • Economists estimate that stunting can reduce a country’s
    GDP by as much as 12%.
  • Stunting is almost always irreversible but it can be prevented
    by improving nutrition for women and children in the first
    1,000 days.

Data on Obesity

4.4% under five are obese

Why it Matters!

  • Obesity is associated with a higher chance of premature death and disability in adulthood
  • Obese children are more likely to stay obese into adulthood and to develop noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age
  • Obesity affects a child’s ability to succeed in school due to effects of weight bias
  • Struggling to cope with weight bias in school, at work, at home or in a healthcare setting can cause stress, depression, anger, aggression and thoughts of suicide

Data on wasting (acute malnutrition)

4.4% of under-five are wasted

Why it Matters!

  • Wasting increases the risk of; Stunted growth, Child deaths from infectious diseases Impaired cognitive development Non-communicable diseases in adulthood
  • Babies born to underweight, stunted or wasted women are themselves likely to be underweight or stunted. In this way, undernutrition passes from one generation to another

Data on Iron Folic Acid Supplements (IFAS)

77% of pregnant women are supplemented with IFAS

Why it Matters!

  • Taking a folic acid supplement reduces the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects (NTDs), like spina bifida
  • Iron supports normal blood formation and normal function of the immune system
  • Folic acid is important for women who are pregnant and those likely to get pregnant since it lowers the risk of the baby being born with defects of the spine and brain
  • Iron helps the pregnant women to have enough blood during and after pregnancy

Data on Complementary feeding practices

55.9% of children 6-23 months get appropriate and adequate complementary feeds

Why it Matters!

  • Breastfeeding alone does not provide enough nutrition from 6 months
  • Good complementary feeding helps to prevent chronic undernutrition
  • Children between the ages of 6-23 months have greater nutritional needs than at any other time of life.
  • It is vital to provide infants with adequate nutrition and prevent nutrition gaps during this early period
  • Infants require more nutrient-rich food and have higher nutrient requirements

Data on Vitamin A Supplement

53.9% of children 6-59 months are supplemented with vitamin A in East Pokot

Why it Matters!

  • Children with even mild or moderate vitamin A deficiency have weaker immune systems and suffer from more respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, malarial episodes and measles, contributing to an increased risk of death
  • VAS for under-fives can reduce general mortality rate up to 23%
  • Vitamin A is essential for child survival, health, growth and development.
  • Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness.