Kakamega County Government endorses the Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development Campaign

Kakamega County First Lady H.E Priscillah Ambetsa Oparanya during her speech on the 5th July 2022 

Photo by KMET

Kakamega County on the 5th July 2022 endorsed the Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development campaign dubbed ‘The Smart Start Initiative’

We had a very successful inception meeting in Kakamega County with both Kakamega and Siaya First ladies present; senior officials from Kakamega County, USAID Boresha Jamii, Lake Region Economic Bloc secretariat led by their CEO, PATH, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University, and the National Government were present.

 Speaking during the meeting, Kakamega County first Lady H. E. Priscilla Oparanya reiterated they will walk the journey and uphold all collaboration.

She recounted that “the county has an active flagship program on Nurturing care for ECD dubbed Imarisha Afya ya Mama na Mtoto popularly known as OparanyaCare which has more than 36,000 beneficiaries”

“We have successfully worked with Community Health Volunteers, male champions, and religious leaders to drive the message home and I know all of us can do it too,” she said.

On her part, Siaya First Lady Rosella Rasanga who is also the Smart Start Initiative (SSI) Champion and brand Ambassador noted that the Smart Start Initiative is a scale-up of a model that has successfully been implemented in her County since 2019 known as Smart Start Siaya- and has received global recognition as one of the first early childhood initiatives identified African.

Dr. Monica Oguttu, the Executive Director of Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (KMET), urged County Governments to prioritize and invest in early childhood development in their programs as a way of reducing poverty, and social inequality and boosting the prosperity and economies of the people.

LREB CEO Victor Nyagaya urged the County leadership to elevate nurturing care on the county’s political agenda by undertaking to formulate supportive policies and guidelines. He promised that they will remain steadfast and lead in this scale-up.

The campaign is spearheaded by the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) and supported by development partners Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (KMET) and PATH.

 This initiative is based on evidence that the brain develops more rapidly during the first 1,000 days than at any other period in life hence offering the best opportunity to set a child on a path to lifelong health, well-being, educational success, and prosperity.

 The consortium envisions all the children develop to full human potential and in all means ensure the creation of an environment that offers children safe and secure surroundings, responsive parenting, adequate health care, and nutrition, and opportunities for stimulation, play, and early learning as recommended by the World Health Organization in its Nurturing Care Framework as the best combination to enable children to thrive.

 The Smart Start Initiative is a scale-up of a model that has successfully been implemented in Siaya County since 2019 known as Smart Start Siaya.

The scale-up process starts with six counties namely Busia, Homa Bay, Vihiga, Kisumu, Nyamira, and Kakamega.

It will emulate the Siaya government-led model.