On the Ground with: Kisumu Medical Education Trust (K-MET)

Improving health and nutrition in rural Kenya

In Kenya—a country of nearly 35 million people—malnutrition and hunger are staggering problems, particularly for children, orphans and people living with HIV/AIDS. In the rural, western regions of Kenya, sustaining basic nutrition is a chronic struggle in the face of food insecurity. Too weak to walk long distances or stand in lines waiting for food aid, those who live in rural areas and subsist on less than a dollar a day do not have access to the basics needed to live healthy, dignified lives.

Care-giving and capacity building for a healthier future

Kisumu Medical Education Trust (K-MET) was founded in 1995 to address health, education and development issues in the rural areas of western Kenya. Through care-giving and capacity building, K-MET has developed programs to improve reproductive health, nutrition and the overall quality of life for vulnerable populations and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). In 2001, K-MET began to manufacture and distribute nutrient-rich flour called Nutri-meal and supply raw ingredients such as peanuts, millet and sorghum to PLWHA, orphans and vulnerable children in K-MET's home-based care program. The results yielded dramatic improvements in health and nutrition. K-MET also developed subsistence gardening projects and formed breastfeeding clubs to expand its food security efforts and to sensitize the Kenyan population to the critical importance of nutrition. Since adequate nutrition enhances the effectiveness of drug regimens, HIV/AIDS patients and other clients on strong drug regimens have greatly benefited from K-MET's commitment to making supplements available at a low cost.

Gardening for a nourished world

AJWS provides support for K-MET's home-based care program, an initiative that addresses the critical nutritional needs of clients and their families who often suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition. The program trains community health workers in basic nutrition and teaches them how to prepare nutritious local foods. AJWS also supports K-MET's subsistence gardening program and other income-generating projects to ensure that rural communities and PLWHA have sustained access to nutritious foods and supplements.

Hunger prevention fast facts

  • Throughout the rural western regions of Kenya, K-MET has developed 10 kitchen gardens, five poultry projects, and five fish and pig farms, enabling sustainable food security and income generation.
  • Over 1,100 K-MET clients are fed daily with nutrition supplements.
  • 208 severely malnourished children have fully recovered as a result of K-MET's outpatient therapeutic program for nutrition rehabilitation.
  • The rate of acute malnutrition among K-MET's clients has been reduced by 79 percent.

Voices of change

Before KMET, my drug regimens did not work so well because I was not given healthy foods. I felt tired and sick all the time. With the help of K-MET’s home-based care, now I have more energy. I live each day feeling healthier and more alive.
—K-MET home-based care client living with HIV/AIDS

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