Integrated Nutrition, Food Security and Retrospective Mortality Survey - West Pokot County Kenya



An integrated nutrition, food security and retrospective mortality survey was undertaken by the Ministry of Health and ACF during the rainy season (May 2012) in West Pokot County. The overall survey objective was to determine the rates of acute malnutrition amongst children aged 6-59 months and the population’s mortality rates1 in West Pokot County.

SMART2 methodology was utilized in the implementation of the survey. Adequate and prior planning were crucial in actualization of the survey objectives despite heavy rains in the area that constrained access to part of the sampled clusters; a challenge that was tackled by accessing replacement clusters.

Findings from this study revealed critical global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates of 12.3% (9.4 – 16.0) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rates of 1.5% (0.7 – 3.2). These findings show no significant difference with the 2011 malnutrition rates recorded during a similar period. Crude and under five mortality rates of 0.22% (0.09 – 0.57) and 0.87%(0.28 – 2.70) respectively were obtained. These lie below the WHO alert and emergency mortality thresholds. Additional information was gathered to provide more insight into factors underlying the acute malnutrition mortality rates (See appendix 1: Summary of Key findings). In summary, high disease incidence, poor infant and young child nutrition, increased distance to facilities that inhibit prompt health care seeking behavior, limited access to safe water, low latrine coverage/ usage and compromised food security are some of the contributing factors to the prevailing malnutrition rates.

The above findings indicate the need for an integrated and concerted effort in tackling the probable determinants of malnutrition in West Pokot.