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Medics alarmed by malnutrition in Nairobi children

Thursday, November 16th, 2023 09:32 | By
A medic examines a child. PHOTO/Print
A medic examines a child. PHOTO/Print

Nutritionists in Nairobi County have raised alarm over increasing malnutrition cases for children under five.

Diana Muriithi, sub County Nutrition officer with Nairobi County said the number of reported cases of malnutrition is increasing every month thus straining the health system capacity.

Recently, during a media training on nutrition reporting in Naivasha Muriithi confirmed that in the month there were 1,000 new admissions of children who were identified to have malnutrition.

“This number is only for those we have been able to identify an indication the number could be higher as within the communities there are cases not been identified. These new numbers are adding up to those who are already enrolled into the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) Programme,” she said.

She added, “In September, we had 1,000 new admissions but in total, there were 3,000 cases in that month. The children stay in the program for three to four months so cumulatively we have high cases of children with malnutrition who are in the programme and thus demanding huge resources,” said Muriithi.
Nairobi is not only the one with high cases of malnutrition as Nyandarua and Nakuru are struggling with high cases of starvation.

Live in slums

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Standards 2019 shows that Nairobi County has a population of about 4.39 million out of which 2.6 million lives in slums.

The nutritionist noted that 60 per cent of the population lives in urban slums such as Korogocho, Mathare, Mukuru, Kibera, Kawangware/Gatina, Kayole Soweto, Viwandani, Majengo and Gitare.

The population in these settlements is disadvantaged due to lack of adequate resources. They are more prone to issues of malnutrition and sanitation. Muriithi pointed out that the county has a population of under-fives of 638,053.

She said this age group is a target population and a point of interest because they are at a higher risk of getting malnutrition.

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