Four drought-hit counties of Turkana, Mandera, Wajir and Isiolo will receive a  consignment of high-nutrition food commodities  to mitigate malnutrition risks among children.

This follows the flag off of the Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) consignment valued at more than Kshs 30 million, courtesy of the government, the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) and UNICEF.

The consignment is part of the KEMSA-UNICEF Integrated Supplies Programme funded by UNICEF and managed by the Authority to provide nutritious food commodities in 25 counties to curb malnutrition-related child mortality.

The flag-off of was witnessed by The Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Aman, UNICEF representative in Kenya, Maniza Zaman, British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot, British Director General for Humanitarian and Development Nick Dyer and KEMSA CEO Terry Ramadhani at the Ministry of Health offices.

Under the local programme, described as a sub-Sahara model for distributing nutrition commodities in remote food-insecure areas, KEMSA procures, warehouses and provides last-mile delivery of Ready to Use Therapeutic Feeds, Therapeutic Milk, Resomal and Anthropometric Equipment to more than 2,200 health facilities in the 25 counties.

Speaking at the event, KEMSA CEO Terry Ramadhani said the provision of the lifesaving therapeutic foods sourced from local manufacturers had helped reverse stunted growth and development due to a chronic lack of essential nutrients in the diets of thousands of children in these ASAL areas.

The Authority, she said, is pursuing a three-pronged transformation strategy focusing on driving operational excellence, enhancing customer experience and repositioning the organization.

“For clients such as UNICEF, at KEMSA, we offer quality agency services such as quantification, procurement, order management, warehousing, quality assurance, distribution, monitoring & evaluation,” Ramadhani said. She added, Through this Programme, we have designed and effectively delivered a lifesaving supply chain solution that is now a sub-Sahara model for distributing nutrition commodities in remote food-insecure areas.”

The programme currently provides nutritious food commodities to ASAL and food-stressed counties, including Turkana, Laikipia, Nairobi, Baringo, West Pokot, Marsabit and Mandera. Other counties include Wajir, Garissa, Samburu, Isiolo, Tana River, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Mombasa, Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Narok, Machakos, Kitui, Makueni, Meru, and Kisumu.