“Afya Leo ni Uzima Kesho (Health Today is Tomorrow’s Life)” has no doubt been the theme of May 2017’s Malezi Bora month.
Malezi Bora is a Swahili phrase standing for “good upbringing”. This is one of the many special activities that are observed in the health calendar of Kenya. The activity takes place twice a year which is in May and November respectively.
Trans Nzoia County joined the country in improving and promoting use of routine health services for mother and child by intensifying the Malezi Bora Campaign.
Speaking in Kitale on Thursday, Lydia Kimani- the County’s Nutritionist insisted there was need to keep mothers and their children safe and healthy before and after birth.
Malezi Bora Campaign aims at improving maternal and child health care in Kitale and its grassroots.
The activities carried out include having integrated outreaches in all the five sub counties, social mobilization at the county and all other five sub counties through radio presentations, public service announcements, concerts with Malezi Bora messages, carrying out food, breastfeeding, hand washing demos and family planning demos. Further the outreach had health education, support supervisions, tools distribution and vitamin A supplements given to ECD schools.
The drive is inclined to the accomplishment of Vision 2030. Stakeholders in the health sector are working hard through such initiatives which is part of the Sustainable Development Goals to promote good health for all humanity.
“Malezi Bora is about many things but nutrition is key,” Kimani said.
“Good and proper nutrition will lead to a healthy pregnancy season and a healthy baby thereafter.”
The county’s ministry of health worked hand in hand with the community health volunteers and the mother -to- mother support groups in facilitating the week.
During the campaign, basic understanding of the importance of diversifying foods in spite of the skyrocketing food prices was credited as a sign of a healthy future.
“Encouraging the adolescent and working mothers to breastfeed their babies for at least 6 months and going for a variety of food will help to avoid feeling the cost of the hiked prices of living,” added Kimani.
Reiterating on other ways of promoting good health and well-being of children, Kimani encouraged mothers to visit a health care centre as soon as they know they are pregnant to be advised on better planning and eventual delivery at a specialised facility.
Mothers were encouraged to partake fast treatment measures-where the parent takes the child to the nearest health facility immediately at the sign of fever. Besides that, mothers were encouraged to ensure they complete child immunization within the first year.
The practice of washing hands with clean water and soap was cited as the simplest step to prevent diarrhoea among young children. Diarrhoeas is managed by practising good hygiene, proper disposal of waste and giving enough fluids to replace the lost fluids.
Administering Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) is the recommended treatment to help replace fluids lost.
Kimani advised pregnant women to go for Antenatal Clinics (ANC) where health education and counselling is offered and the mother supplemented with Iron and Folic Acids (IFAS) for nutritional stability.
IFAS has been welcomed as one of the best ways in preventing anaemia. Its intake dodges tendencies of giving birth to preterm babies of low birth weight.