28 Apr 2020

Nairobi Nutritional Project: the role of nutrition in the fight against COVID-19

nutrition covid 1

About the Nairobi Nutritional Project

nutrition covid 1Jahmii Kipawa Clinic in the Nairobi North slums of Kariobangi, is one if the Healthcare facilities that World Friends has partnered with over the years through the Nairobi Nutritional Project. The Project aims at improving the nutritional and health status and reducing the morbidity and mortality rate of pregnant women and children in the slums. World Friends is prioritizing the Nairobi Nutritional Project in an effort to respond to the recovery efforts of COVID-19. Nutrition is essential in the development of the immunity system that results to better protection against infection and illness and supports recovery. The continuation of World Friends’ nutrition specific interventions by offering essential healthcare services to women and children is a major factor towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage.

In an interview with Elizabeth Aketch Akoth, the Clinical Officer in charge of Jamii Kipawa, her take on the current issues affecting the residents among other concerns is that:

Protecting the most vulnerable members of the society from hunger and malnutrition is among the most forefront priorities for COVID-19 response efforts to succeed”.

Nutrition against the virus

nutrition covid 2Food and nutrition security are a concern at the moment for the residents of the slums. In these densely populated areas basic amenities such as drinking water and food are scarce. This couples with other factors such as poverty, pre-existent malnutrition and the rise of new malnutrition cases. The low income factor is also making it impossible for the residents to stay home and quarantine as they have to provide for their families. Few households have access to in-house or in-compound piped water to wash their hands and drink. Solely relying on water kiosks and water resellers is also a concern on how to prevent COVID-19 infection.

Poor nutrition negatively affects the brain function making it paramount to monitor it from a tender age. That is why preventative and curative nutrition interventions must continue. Even short term disruptions could have irreversible effects on child survival, health and development. Taking into account the mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) and the Z-score (weight for height) to determine moderate and sever acute malnutrition, World Friends continues to provide supplementary and therapeutic foods to the children in need and expectant and breastfeeding women suffering from malnutrition.

Support the Nairobi Nutritional Project and World Friends activities to face the COVID-19 emergency in Kenya and in Italy >>