H.E. Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya this morning hosted a delegation from UNICEF China with an aim of enhancing co-operation between the county government and the UN agency for advancement of children’s development agenda – UNICEF.
Speaking during the event, Governor Oparanya thanked the group for selecting to share their experiences with Kakamega County. He also thanked UNICEF Kenya for supporting the county’s “Afya ya Mama na Mtoto” programme popularly referred to as Oparanya Care that has immensely reduced infant mortality rates in the county since its inception. Governor Oparanya said when he came into office in 2013, the poverty levels were very high-at 60% leading to malnutrition hence the need for introduction of the program in Kakamega county. “So far 50,000 mothers have been registered under this programme with 43,700 of them benefiting from the programme’ s support,” he said.
The Governor urged UNICEF China to come on board and engage the county in exchange programmes and capacity building in Oparanya Care programme as his government was looking forward to extend the programme to include family planning as well as cover children in ECD centres, aged below 5 years. He promised to increase the program’s budgetary allocation to ensure a successful implementation and called on UNICEF China to offer financial assistance to the county government for sustainability of the programme.
Health Services CECM Rachel Okumu thanked the group for showing interest in partnering with Kakamega county to assist the less fortunate members of the society. UNICEF Kenya Head of Delegation Yill Ma praised the programme saying it had won international recognition as a champion in reduction of infant mortality rates.
Present also was Deputy Governor H.E. Prof. Philip Museve Kutima, County Secretary Madam Jacinta Aluoch Odhiambo, Health Services Chief Officer Beatrice Etemesi and her Public Health counterpart Eveline Mulunji and Oparanya Care programme manager Nashon Wawire, among others.