Update of Current MEDAIR Projects: North Kenya 18 Jan 2001

The Horn of Africa experienced a severe drought last year. This also affected the Marsabit district of Northern Kenya. MEDAIR responded to the drought in the Marsabit district of North Kenya in May of this year. Representatives from the team did a two week assessment survey to determine the seriousness of the drought and the impact on the population. The findings of the survey concluded that there was a high nutritional need in the Marsabit district. MEDAIR also conducted a nutritional survey in the North Horr region during the middle part of June. The survey team used a random 30-cluster survey using the weight-for-height (WFH) methodology. Formal and informal interviews with households and community members were conducted to obtain a wider picture of the situation.
Emergency Nutrition and Health Programme

The goal of the programme is the reduction in the rate of morbidity and mortality amongst the under 5 year old children caused by the effects of a prolonged drought.

Nutritional Component

Wet Feeding

With household food supply only available in limited quantities, it was possible that the 'take-home-ration' from the general blanket UNIMIX distribution would be shared with other family members. Hence the need for wet feeding. The targeted children received 2 meals of porridge daily at the feeding centres.

Health Component

MEDAIR medical staff are monitoring the health condition of those children admitted into the wet supplementary centres. Primary health care treatment will be given when necessary. More serious cases (with the exception of chronic disease) will be treated at the Mission dispensaries. Hygiene education and promotion activities will be undertaken at distribution and feeding centres. The high levels of diarrhoea recorded among children during the MEDAIR survey illustrated the need for the hygiene education.