Celebrating Mothers, Babies and Hygiene: Partnering for a Healthier Kenya

Photograph of a woman carrying a child and two buckets“Sustaining Breastfeeding Together” was the key message during this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebration at Oboch Health Center in Nyakach, Kisumu County. The celebration brought together 100 pregnant women and new mothers with representatives from the Ministry of Health and Kisumu county government, as well as staff from other USAID health projects operating in the county.

The event promoted the importance of breastfeeding for the first two years of life, as well as other hygiene and health practices, such as handwashing, household water treatment and food safety. Each of the 100 women received hygiene kits comprising of a handwashing facility, a drinking water storage container, a bar of soap and a water treatment. These tools help make it easier for women to make hygienic practices a normal part of everyday life, improving the health of their families in the process. 

In his remarks, the Kisumu County Deputy Governor Mathews Owili thanked USAID for being a critical health partner in championing improved access to quality health care services for all. “Stronger partnerships right from the community level are crucial to ensuring we achieve optimal breastfeeding practices in our communities.” Deputy Governor Owili added that Kisumu County government will fully support any new policies that ensure more people; especially mothers, babies and other vulnerable groups are able to access basic health services.

Exclusive breastfeeding is a key contributor to the survival and health of newborns. Through the KIWASH (Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Health) project, USAID is supporting the efforts of the National Ministry of Health and county health departments to promote the adoption of improved nutrition and hygiene practices for this important population group. 

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