DESCRIPTION

The focus of the HNSS department is to build individual and family resilience through prevention of disease and promotion of overall wellbeing of all members in the communities KRCS works with. The bigger focus is to complement the Government efforts to deliver preventive and promotive nutrition care services among the most vulnerable.

Kenya Red Cross established the nutrition unit in 2010. This was driven by the need to integrate nutrition within emergency preparedness and response which is a nationwide responsibility, with the society responding to all forms of emergencies and disasters in the country.

The focus of the HNSS department is to build individual and family resilience through prevention of disease and promotion of overall wellbeing of all members in the communities KRCS works with. The bigger focus is to complement the Government efforts to deliver preventive and promotive nutrition care services among the most vulnerable. Kenya Red Cross established the nutrition unit in 2010. This was driven by the need to integrate nutrition within emergency preparedness and response which is a nationwide responsibility, with the society responding to all forms of emergencies and disasters in the country.

Advocacy for integration of nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive actions, adoption of national nutrition policies and guidelines across relevant programmes, has been critical within the society and has been a key action in yielding resources for the sector given the other scope of other departments in the society.

This together with ensuring nutrition sensitive emergency preparedness and response actions will continue to be a major focus

As an auxiliary to both national and county governments, together with other nutrition stakeholders, KRCS continues to contribute to nutrition policy landscape, capacity building, research and evidence generation, nutrition commodity supply chain management for emergency backstopping of the routine supplies as well as ensuring continuity of service delivery in development and emergency contexts.

THEMATIC AREAS

Thematic area 1: Community Social Behaviour change communication

Approach 1: Rapid Pro nutrition communication platform

In the year 2020, Kenya adapted the Interim Guidance on Continuity of Nutrition Services to guide program adaptations in the context of Covid-19. The use of innovative methods to pass messages has been identified as a key opportunity for risk reduction and service continuity in the context of Covid-19 pandemic. Kenya red Cross therefore supported the Ministry of Heath through the Division of Nutrition and Dietetics (DND) with support from UNICEF to roll out in four counties (Kisumu, Turkana, Kilifi and Nairobi) the community messaging, and feedback mechanism through mobile phone on RapidPro platform with the aim of gathering community perspectives, beliefs and knowledge on nutrition and reinforcing the recommended health and nutrition practices in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. So far over 430, 000 messages have been sent out to beneficiaries. Other innovations supported were the use of virtual platforms to sensitize/train health workers on emerging Covid-19 pandemic response guidance, continuity of coordination mechanisms/ structures through virtual platforms in 23 counties, leveraging on relatively good access to mobile phone network and social media platform by program beneficiaries to pass information and, use of websites and dashboards to ease access to guidelines and information.

Approach 2: Health System Strengthening

Kenya Red Cross in support to service continuity and community nutrition surveillance capacity strengthening continues to support roll out family Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) approach which has enabled counties to safely conduct household surveillance as part of the early warning system and effective detection and monitoring of the food and nutrition security status at community level. Care givers are trained to monitor their children's mid upper arm circumference at home and refer them to a community health volunteer or health facility when they detect signs of acute malnutrition.

Addition capacity building is done targeting health care workers and community health volunteers on Integrated Management of Acute malnutrition (IMAM), Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition in emergencies and continuous sensitization on IMAM surge approach at facility level.

Thematic area 2: Nutrition Emergency Preparedness and response

Approach 1: Scaling up Integrated Outreaches

To promote greater responsiveness in emergencies, Kenya Red Cross works with the National and County governments and other partners to review the county multi sector contingency plans that clearly articulates nutrition preparedness and response actions at both levels.

Mass screening and bi-monthly integrated medical outreaches have been supported by KRCS in selected emergency affected counties as part of preventing deterioration of nutritional status and saving lives of the most vulnerable in emergencies.

Approach 2: Nutrition Supply Chain Integration

  • To enhance effective management of the Integrated Management of acute Malnutrition program, KRCS has supported trainings on Nutrition Logistics Information Management System (LMIS) for nutrition technical officers to ensure timely and accurate reporting and tracking of nutrition commodities.
  • Additional support continuously provided through prepositioning of Ready To Use Therapeutic Commodities in the nine KRCS hubs for backstopping supply chain gaps across health facilities at county level.

Approach 3: Coordination

KRCS continues to contribute to technical coordination (National, County and Sub County Nutrition technical coordination Forums) through which there has been joint nutrition situation reviews, information sharing, and advocacy efforts to national and county leadership for increased resource allocation to nutrition.

Nutrition Articles

Community Health Volunteers Promote Nutrition Social Behaviour Change at Household Level
Nutrition

Community Health Volunteers Promote Nutrition Social Behaviour Change at Household Level

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic reminded us how important Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) are in guiding the community in health...Read More

Community Health Volunteers Championing Early Detection of Malnutrition at Household Levels
Nutrition

Community Health Volunteers Championing Early Detection of Malnutrition at Household Levels

Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) play an important role in expanding the provision of health care at the community they serve whilst providing solutions to communi...

 Family MUAC Tape: Empowering Mothers and Care Givers to Detect Malnutrition
Nutrition

Family MUAC Tape: Empowering Mothers and Care Givers to Detect Malnutrition

The traditional social role of women and men have remained unchanged for many years. According to Halima Abdi,33, mother of four, residing in Basa location he...

You Can Make A Difference