Please help fund our new mobile project to treat malnutrition in Isiolo County, Kenya

In Kenya, people are asking Doctors of the World to help in Isiolo County. The community hospital we work with is a five-hour drive from Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Sadly, Isiolo has the fastest growing global acute malnutrition* (GAM) rate in the country. The need for food is now at emergency levels.

As one of the biggest counties in Kenya, Isiolo covers an area larger than Wales. Infrastructure is poor. There are hardly any paved roads. Many people are nomadic. Communities are far apart. The countryside is sparse and there is frequent conflict over access to water, all of which makes helping difficult.

Muna is a community health nurse who has been working with Doctors of the World in Isiolo County Hospital to assess the biggest needs in the community. She has told us stories of people walking several days to get help. Many don’t make it. Often pregnant women are hardest hit. As Muna was told: “When a woman is pregnant, we say her grave is open.”

The need in Kenya and other countries is overwhelming. Doctors of the World is the only charity setting up a mobile outreach project in this region of Kenya.

The sad truth is that children, mothers-to-be and new mothers will die if we don’t fund this project.

Your role in the solution

Today you can give the gift of food and life to mothers-to-be, new mothers, and children under five in Isiolo County.

Lucy Coley, our international programme officer, has just returned from Nairobi to discuss a nutrition project you can help set up.

Since the start of the year, Lucy has been talking to community leaders, the Northern Rangelands Trust (a local NGO) and other aid agencies working in Kenya. These groups have all asked for our help to deliver a nutrition programme.

“We are desperate to get this project up and running as soon as possible,” says Lucy. “We have started the recruitment process and just need the funding to begin work. I can’t emphasise enough how dire the situation is and how much we need your generosity.”

Our plan is for Muna, a programme co-ordinator, and volunteer nurses from the UK to work in Isiolo’s rural communities. On some days, the team will see and assess more than 130 children. On other days, the team will drive five hours to remote parts of the county and only see a handful of people.

We follow the internationally recognised Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition^ (IMAM) guidelines. This involves screening, referrals and treatment of malnutrition.

The budget and what your gift will pay for

We initially want to set up the feeding programme for six months. The budget for the project is as follows:

Based on our best estimates we think the project will help around 2,000 people per month.

This equates to around £8.41 per child, mum-to-be or new mum helped.

*  A GAM rate of 15% is considered an emergency and the rate in Isiolo is currently 19% and rising.
^ If you would like to know more about IMAM then we have a guide we can send you.

This appeal was updated on 11 April to reflect the project we plan to run in response to the famine. Previously this page was updated on 24 March to reflect that Kenya had been added to our appeal. Our appeal initially concerned the crisis in four countries: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.