A recent study by the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS, 2022) indicates a slight decline in rates of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding.

In response, the Kenya Kwanza government has demonstrated a strong commitment to fostering an environment conducive to breastfeeding through legislative and policy frameworks, aided by collaborations with key stakeholders like UNICEF and Kenya Private Sector Alliance.

The government is working to establish 100 lactation stations across the country to support women in workplaces.

Public Health Principal Secretary Mary Muthoni said the strategic move will rectify the declining rates for exclusive breastfeeding.

These programs, supported by the Division of Nutrition and Dietetics Services, have enhanced the capacity of healthcare workers and community health promoters, with 902 community health units now implementing BFCI.

She said the Ministry of Health had listed 126 Nutritionists, Pediatricians, Nurses, and clinical officers across 28 counties as Trainers of Trainers (TOTs) on the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative to equip mothers with the necessary breastfeeding skills.

“This strategy aims to provide healthcare environments that help mothers acquire necessary skills to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of life and continue breastfeeding for two years or beyond, “PS  Muthoni stated.

The ministry stated that through the Baby Friendly Community Initiative, the ministry had established a capacity of 2,306 healthcare workers and 11,400 community health promoters to enhance maternal, infant and young child nutrition practices at the community levels.

Optimal infant nutrition has seen remarkable strides in promoting breastfeeding, which plays a pivotal role in nurturing healthy infants and ensuring their survival due to its unmatched nutritional benefits.