The National Nutrition week aims to bring the various stakeholders together to showcase what has been done and to encourage the various partners to put more efforts so that we can further reduce stunting and underweight among children and curb the increase of overweight and obesity among children and adults.
The theme for the week was “Our Food Our Culture; Improving Nutrition Together”. The National nutrition week celebrates the diverse and unique culture of food among the Kenyan people and recognizes that if well harnessed this has the potential to present a very rich and diverse diet to the growing population advancing our goal of food and nutrition security. The coast of Mombasa has diverse people who have diverse foods and eating habits, and the launch of the Nutrition week created awareness to nutrition stakeholders on the diverse food cultures and how these influence dietary patterns and eventually food and nutrition security.
The launch was marked by exhibitions by government departments for health, Agriculture and Livestock, Fisheries, Interior coordination, Civil Society Organizations’, the media, women and youth groups.
The event was graced by the chair of Committee for Health Hon. Kibwana Swaleh,Mombasa Executive for devolution and Public Service Administration, Seth Odongo, who was the chief guest, accompanied by The County Director of Health, Dr.Shem Patta among other dignitaries.
Various foods as prepared and consumed by various cultures to show varied food cultural diversity was prepared and exhibited. More emphasis was put on traditional cultural foods, like cassava, sweet potatoes, beans, traditional vegetables and grains. County and sub-county nutrition officers were at the exhibition tables, explaining to the public on the importance of eating a healthy meal, and how to prepare a balanced meal, regardless of the type of food. They also shared good and bad practices in food preparation, like recycling cooking oil after deep frying food was discouraged. The public was encouraged to use a small amount of oil to deep fry foods, so as to avoid storing the already heated and used oil for re-using at a later date as this can cause diseases.
Nutrition services, like the weight and growth monitoring was offered to the public, and everyone had an opportunity to know their body mass index. The public also had an opportunity of being screened for blood sugar and got nutrition counseling.
- The launch of the national nutrition week and through the exhibition and showcasing of indigenous foods is envisaged to lead to increased awareness and appreciation of the implications of culture on improving food and nutrition security including the reduction and elimination of all forms of malnutrition and effects on the socio-economic development in the country.
- Promoting sustainable nutrition sensitive food systems for healthy diets and improved nutrition
- Documented lessons to inform policy, decisions and programs aimed at scaling up nutrition in Kenya.
- High-level advocacy for commitment to increased funding for nutrition and positioning nutrition high in government policies.