Oct 9, 2013, updated October 2013
Children who are malnourished may experience stunted growth, have reduced IQ levels, as well as lower resistance to infections due to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Zinc, Iron or Iodine.
Recent figures released by the World Health Organization have revealed that about 40% of children under the age of five in Kenya have stunted growth. Figures also show that there are nearly 100 deaths per 1,000 live births in children in the same age category.
Nestlé Kenya launched its Healthy Kids Programme in 2012 as part of our effort to help tackle the growing problems of undernutrition and diet-related chronic diseases in developing countries worldwide.
Aimed at children aged six to 12, the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme in Kenya is building on the country’s existing school syllabus with a focus on nutrition education.
The company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education and is supporting Ministry efforts to promote healthy eating, encourage physical activity, and improve good hygiene in schools. Nestlé has provided its expertise in the area of Nutrition, Health and Wellness to boost the programme curriculum, creating lesson materials based on the Ministry’s existing education syllabus.
About 60 teachers were trained on nutrition education topics before the programme was launched. Teachers use interactive materials, such as posters and flashcards to enhance the students’ learning experience.
Monitoring is being carried out through a steering committee made up of officials from the Ministry of Education, the Kenya Institute of Education, and City Education offices.
As part of the initiative an independent evaluator collects, stores and analyses the data from the Healthy Kids Programme.
Value to Society
In 2012, the programme reached an estimated 3,500 children, 250 teachers and 15 schools.
Parents and guardians noted that their children were much more conscious of what they are eating and drinking. Additionally, teachers noted a clear change in the attitudes and behaviour of children who took part in the programme.
Value to Nestlé
Establishes a global competitive advantage and demonstrates Nestlé’s commitment to address health issues globally; has a positive impact on Nestlé’s reputation as a leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company.
Nestlé aims to strengthen the Healthy Kids Programme in Kenya by encouraging parents and other stakeholders to help expand the initiative.
The company hopes to reach about 40 schools in Kenya in 2014-2015.