Kisumu County First Lady, Madam Dorothy Nyongo, also a nutrition champion during the World Breastfeeding Week celebrations on 7 July 2022.
Photo Credit: Rael Mwando, Kisumu County Department of Health

We have made great progress to reduce malnutrition in Kenya over the past decade but COVID-19 has set us back by aggravating the prevailing triple burden of malnutrition—the coexistence of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity. Hence, maintaining commitment is an ongoing challenge.

For a long time, nutrition issues and programming were perceived to be a Ministry of Health (MOH) issue, but we know malnutrition is multicausal and requires multiple interventions to mitigate. Galvanizing support across sectors is critical. Nutrition champions are influential people, like community leaders or politicians, who are in a unique position to use their positions and platforms to shape nutrition as a priority from local to global levels. These influencers voice the needs of their communities and contribute to galvanizing political and community attention toward improving nutrition from the national down to the smallest administrative unit, in this case the wards and the villages in Kenya’s Kakamega, Kisumu, and Kitui counties.