Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child

ENRICH is a five year programme funded by the Global Affairs Canada (GAC) through World Vision Canada. Its ultimate goal is to contribute to the reduction of maternal and child mortality in select regions of Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan. ENRICH seeks to achieve this goal by addressing issues critical to the Health and Nutrition of Pregnant and lactating women, new-born babies and young children under two years of age.

In Kenya, World Vision is rolling out the ENRICH project in Elgeyo Marakwet County.  The project covers four sub-counties in the region namely: Marakwet East, Marakwet West, Keiyo south and Keiyo North. In Elgeyo Marakwet, 30% of children under five years old are stunted (short for their age) while 12.6% are underweight (low weight for age).  These figures are above the national average of 26% and 11% respectively (2014 Kenya Demographic Survey). Exclusive breastfeeding rates, dietary diversity and maternal knowledge of appropriate feeding and childcare practises are also low in West Pokot. The ENRICH project seeks to address these challenges so as to improve the health of children, mothers and families in the county.

Key Achievements:

Since its inception in 2016, the project has achieved the following in Elgeyo Marakwet County:

a. Strengthening of Health systems & service delivery

  • Built the capacity of health workers on various components of nutrition, reproductive, maternal, new-born, child, and adolescent health
  • Equipped 111 health facilities with medical equipment and supplies
  • Established 26 Community Health Units with 625 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs). It has also strengthened 468 Health Committees.
  • Empowered CHVs to conduct household visits, offer counselling, and make hospital referrals. The CHVs reach 31,500 households each month with timely messages on the importance of dietary diversification, skilled delivery, family planning, growth monitoring in children, antenatal and postnatal care visits, healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, as well as good hygiene and sanitation practices such as proper use of latrines and hand washing at critical times.
  • Established Mother-to-Mother support groups/ care groups where over 5,647 mothers of children under two years share ideas and learn about reproductive health and effective infant and young child feeding practises.
  • Supported the development of nutrition data collection tools and data quality audits (DQA), as well as building the capacity of health workers on supportive supervision, and the use of the Kenya’s Health Management Information systems (HMIS)

b. Production of bio fortified and nutrient dense foods to prevent malnutrition

  • Established two orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) multiplication sites, and 45 iron rich beans seed multipliers in Elgeyo Marakwet.
  • Produced 34 Metric Tonnes of iron rich bean seeds and supported 22, 890 mothers of reproductive age to grow the crops to improve utilization of vitamin A and iron for improved productivity and cognition among mothers and children
  • Reviewed the National Food Fortification Strategic Plan through Nutrition International (NI).
  • Delivered Micronutrient Powder (MNP) to 7,025 children (6-23 months old) so as to keep them healthy and well nourished.
  • Rehabilitated 104 malnourished children through the positive deviance hearth (PDHearth) model

c. Strengthened Advocacy, Gender, policy and public engagement

  • Championed the establishment of Men Care Groups, community social accountability groups, religious leaders at the ward level who have enhanced Community participation in Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) and their demand for improved service delivery
  • Developed the Gender Strategy for mainstreaming gender transformative activities in Elgeyo Marakwet, including the roll out of the Men Care Model through 49 trainers of trainers.

Implementing Partners

Nutrition international, Harvest plus(H+), the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH), University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of public health and Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Egerton University, Kenya Agricultural & Livestock research organisation (KALRO), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate service (KEPHIS), National and county governments, Civil society organizations and community members.