Coming together under the umbrella of the Partnership for Strengthening Maternal, New-born, Child Health and Nutrition (PSMNCHN) in Kenya, Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Action Against Hunger, Aga Khan Foundation, Hellen Keller, Map International, Nutrition International and World Vision, held the first ever Annual National Reproductive, Maternal, New-born, Child Health and Nutrition (RMNCHN) evidence-based learning conference.
The partners are funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to implement respective projects in Kilifi, Kwale, Siaya, West Pokot, Trans-Nzoia, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Kisii and Elgeyo Marakwet counties. They operate under a common theme of a holistic approach to improve health and nutrition among women, children and adolescent girls in Kenya, aligned with Government of Kenya priorities in maternal, new-born, child health and nutrition (MNCHN) and the President’s Big 4 Agenda.
The objective of the conference was to share knowledge products and lessons learnt from proven approaches for scaling up and replication. Partners exhibited best practices and innovative models through oral and poster presentations.
In attendance was the Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, Lisa Stadelbauer who acknowledged that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be realised without innovative partnerships and that Canada is investing 3.5B$ globally to reduce maternal and child mortality.
Amref Health Africa in Kenya Country Director Dr Meshack Ndirangu challenged partners focusing on maternal and child health to recognise that health is manufactured in communities and repaired in hospitals; therefore it is critical to invest in primary health care and Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) and to enshrine their role in policy and law.
Also in attendance was Aga Khan Foundation East Africa Regional CEO Graham Wood, Country Director Action Against Hunger Dr Patrick Mweki, Country Director Helen Keller International David Doledec, Country Director Nutrition International Martha Nyagaya, and National Director of World Vision Kenya Francois Batalingaya.
The partnership is aimed at increasing utilisation of essential health and nutrition services by pregnant women, mothers, adolescent girls, and boys and girls, improved nutritional status of pregnant and lactating mothers, boys and girls including adolescents and to enhance integration of gender sensitive health and nutrition services within local and national policies and plans.
It is expected that the partnership will be used as a platform for coordination and donor linkages for sustained programmatic support.