Machakos County is has a population of 1,098,584 according to the 2009 Census. The County borders Nairobi and Kiambu counties to the West, Embu to the North, Kitui to the East and Makueni to the South.
County Nutrition Situation
The last nutrition survey results done under the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey in 2008, indicated that the prevalence of stunting was 31% which is much higher than the acceptable threshold. Underweight levels were at 17% which is also quite high while vitamin A supplementation was still low at 51.8%. Even though there has been no survey done recently, there is a need to prioritize nutrition activities by working with all the relevant sectors such as education, water, health and agriculture.
County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP)
The County is developing its County Nutrition Action Plan. It is in draft and accessible by all stakeholders. The action plan has the following priorities:
- Improve nutritional status of women of reproductive age.
- Improve nutritional status of children under 5 years of age.
- Reduce the prevalence of micro nutrient deficiencies in the population.
- Prevent deterioration of nutritional station and save lives of vulnerable groups.
- Improve access to quality curative nutrition services.
- Enhance evidence based decision making through research.
- Improve nutrition knowledge attitudes and practices among the population.
- Strengthen coordination and partnerships.
Nutrition Advocacy Training
The SUN CSA, conducted a three-day County Nutrition Advocacy training in Machakos, from 28-30 October 2014 ,targeting officers of various line ministries, CSOs and United Nations networks from the County with an aim of engaging with the County Government and other stakeholders on food and nutrition security.
During the nutrition advocacy training that was coordinated by the Kenya Red Cross Society, it was highlighted that the County Government was focusing on improving the nutrition of mothers and children hence it had set-up legislation to prevent food insecurity. The Ministry of Health officers and County Nutrition Officer provided technical support during the workshop.
Machakos County Assembly recently passed a bill to facilitate the initiation of the County Agricultural Fund, which is expected to boost food production and nutrition. The ministries of agriculture and health were challenged by the County Government to take lead in improving the nutrition situation. SUN CSA facilitators advocated for multi-sectoral participation and action in supporting nutrition interventions.