iambu County Government First Lady H.E Susan Ndung’u and the CECM Health Services have launched the Malezi Bora programme in Kiambu County in an event that took place in Limuru Sub-county. Malezi Bora programme is an initiative implemented nationally as a strategy to accelerate the utilization of maternal and child health and nutrition services offered in county health facilities.
The First Lady noted that Kiambu County has in the last two years raised the coverage of the Malezi Bora initiatives from 38% to 142%. “We have collectively managed to afford health services to most of our residents,” she said, “We are currently holding the first position in the country for our immunization services.”
Child survival during the first 1,000 days of birth is closely associated with numerous health conditions and infant and maternal mortality. Statistics also indicate that infants whose mothers die within the first six weeks of their lives are more likely to die before reaching the age of two years.
Malezi Bora has previously shown an increase in uptake of health services in health facilities. This has been achieved through amplified knowledge and awareness on maternal, newborn and child health through intense and sustainable advocacy and social mobilization. Community involvement in health care provision, intensified support supervision and outreach services have also been instrumental in achieving this.
Health department CECM Mary Kamau noted the efforts being put by the health department in the county in achieving Universal Health Care which is part of the Big Four Agenda that the government is working to realize. “We are working closely with the national government and all the stakeholders because we want to become the pacesetters in the Universal Health Coverage,” she noted.
Kenya faces a triple burden of Malnutrition with acute food shortages leading to acute and chronic malnutrition, increasing rates of overweight and obesity especially among the adult population and worrying levels micronutrient deficiencies among children.
The Malezi Bora week takes place countrywide every May and October. The theme of this year’s Malezi Bora weeks is “Strengthening Maternal and Child Health Services for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage”.
During this period, the health ministry aims to scale up evidence-based High Impact Interventions (HII) that will significantly reduce maternal, infant and child mortality. Kiambu department of health services has also been mandated with carrying out Vitamin A supplementation and deworming to all children less than five years.
During this Malezi Bora period, families and communities are encouraged to practice preventive and promotive measures such as ensuring that expectant mothers attend antenatal clinics, deliver their babies in health facilities, ensure children are taken for immunization, practice exclusive breast feeding and Vitamin A supplementation to boost their immunity and that of their babies.