25 Percent of Children Under 5 in Kajiado are Stunted

July 7, 2022

By Raisa Okwaras

According to the SMART Survey conducted in 2018, one in every four children under five years old in Kajiado county is stunted. In addition, one in every ten is wasted and twenty-two in every one hundred are underweight.

The survey attributes the stunting, wasting, and children being underweight to low uptake of exclusive breastfeeding, low consumption of the recommended complementary feeding, and low coverage in intake of the vitamin A supplement.

In addition, the current economic situation in the country worsens the already bad situation as mothers struggle to afford basic commodities, leave alone complementary meals or supplements. Its effects extend to health, productivity, and education too.

The Kajiado County Nutrition Coordinator Ruth Nasinkoi has cited nutrition as a critical component of health and development. With this, she links better nutrition to improved infant, child, and maternal health, strong immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, and reduced risk of non-communicable illnesses like cardio-vascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

She also added that malnutrition lowers the quality of life of the child since they experience both physical and mental developmental setbacks.

Children who are stunted below the age of five are more likely to underperform in school while those with good nutrition have high IQ, hence, good performance in school. There is also reduced absenteeism and repetition as children are healthy,” she said.

Contrarily, children with access to better nutrition often have higher immunity and better growth and development. Hence, their demand for health curative services are low. The undernourished ones are at a greater risk of illnesses like anaemia, pneumonia, malaria, diarrhoea, and acute respiratory diseases. Such also heightens their risk of death.

Therefore, the County Nutrition Coordinator stated how the cost of managing nutrition is low. However, it is very expensive to treat it. For instance, very ksh.1 invested in nutrition has a ksh.22 return. Contrarily, it costs about ksh.5,000 to treat one moderate cost of nutrition and about ksh.10,000 to treat a severe case.

In addition, children that escape stunting have a thirty-three percent greater chance of escaping poverty in adulthood.

The Sustainable Development Goals-2 holds that the Government of Kenya pledges to bring to an end all forms of malnutrition by 2030.


Hey, like this? Why not share it with a buddy?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *