The World Food Programme (WFP), with the support of the Minsitry of Health and Unilever, has launched a report titled The Kenya Assessment Report on Adolescent Nutrition after a study was done in 3 counties in Kenya to better understand adolescent nutrition.

“This report is timely as we are at a time when the country is deciding on the best way of holistically addressing the nutrition needs of the adolescents. We want to encourage all stakeholders to engage in discourse, coordination and leverage opportunities in understanding this research to comprehensively address the needs of adolescents, said Ministry of Health Adolescent Health Programmes Manager, Dr. Christine Wambugu.

It highlights the risks faced by girls in regards to their nutrition, health and education status. Adolescent girls are identified as being particularly vulnerable when it comes to matters of nutrition due to a number of factors such as: adolescent pregnancy, menstruation, traditionally lower education attainment and a higher level of physical demands.

Based on research carried out on 10 to 19-year-olds countrywide, and input from various stakeholders who are working on adolescent programmes in sectors such as Health, Education, Social Protection, Nutrition and Governance in the country, the report includes a comprehensive exploration of issues affecting adolescents. Issues highlighted include HIV/AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Violence.

In Kenya, the proportion of the total population that is adolescents is 22%. This indicates the need to increase investment in their health, nutrition, education, livelihoods and participation.

The report is pursuant of efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Specifically, it addresses objective 2.2 which aims to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

The release of the report comes after the World Health Day celebrations which are commemorated every year on 7th April under the leadership of World Health Organisation (WHO) to create global health awareness. The theme for 2018 was Universal Health coverage which encompasses all of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and raises hopes for better health and protection for the world’s poorest.

The study was done by Anthrologica in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, WFP, DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung), World Vision and I Choose Life Africa. You can find the report here.