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By Jordan Teague, senior international policy advisor
In just five years, Kenya reduced its child wasting rate by 39 percent. It also made progress on child stunting, with a 35 percent decrease over nine years.
This rapid progress against malnutrition was made possible by improvements in many areas: delivering nutrition services, enacting nutrition governance legislation, strengthening supportive economic policies, developing a healthier food system, and building community resilience. Effective advocacy for nutrition and external support to the Kenyan government were also key ingredients in success. But Kenya faces difficulties in its efforts to further reduce malnutrition.
Two areas of difficulty are wide disparities among the country’s regions, and shortfalls in funding. Kenyans themselves must take the lead in overcoming these obstacles, but the U.S. government can support Kenya, along with other countries working to reduce malnutrition, in three main ways:
Kenya, with the support of many internal and external stakeholders invested in its success, has taken commendable steps to accelerate its progress on nutrition. These steps include prioritizing governance, increasing human resources capacity in nutrition within the health system, diversifying agriculture and people’s diets, investing in resilience, creating space for advocacy, and leading coordination efforts among all stakeholders.
While there has been progress on reducing stunting and wasting, Kenya still faces difficulties such as funding shortfalls and uneven progress that risks exacerbating nutrition disparities.View full report.
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