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“When children don’t have the right early nutrition, they’re disadvantaged before they even set foot in a classroom.”

This unfortunately is the situation with many of our children in Kenya especially considering that malnutrition is not just lack of food but also lack of proper nutrients and micronutrients. We may therefore have a situation where a child is not necessarily hungry but has been fed nutrient deficient junk food to a point where he/she is just as malnourished as the child without food.

Going by our 2030 dreams as a country, we need an end to malnutrition rather urgently. The success of Vision 2030 is pegged on among other things a strong and healthy workforce and we need to start nurturing this right from the children.

The malnutrition statistics are staggering.  Every year, nearly 100,000 children die before their fifth birthday, and 50% of these deaths are linked to malnutrition. Today 2.8 million children in Kenya under the age of five are stunted. The problem of malnutrition and stunting is not often a result of lack of food, but not eating the right food.

Left unchecked, malnutrition becomes a vicious cycle of poverty, more malnutrition and more poverty.

It is towards this that Seven Seas which is produced by science and technology company Merck Consumer Health, has launched a campaign to raise awareness about malnutrition in the country and to actively fight it. Seven seas is working together with key players in Government health sectors, medical agriculture, sports, and education. These are all fields that malnutrition affects greatly.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Gladys Mugambi, Head of Nutrition, Ministry of Health and Sanitation said the government is working on programmes that will increase the awareness level on the importance of good nutrition for children. “We are working with institutions both in government and the private sector to ensure that people are made aware of the importance of a balanced diet for children to reduce cases of stunted growth and ailments associated with malnutrition,” she noted.

Seven Seas will conduct the campaign through roadshows during which consumers will be able to directly with nutritionists, paediatricians and other medical staff for free advise on the right nutrition for their children.

 

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