Improving maternal, infant and young child nutrition in Nepal via peer mobilization

Akriti Singh, Rolf D.W. Klemm, Gary Mundy, Pooja Pandey Rana, Bhim Pun, Kenda Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective To evaluate the impact of a peer facilitator (PF) approach for improving mothers' knowledge and practices relating to maternal and child nutrition. Design A quasi-experimental design nested within a large-scale integrated nutrition programme, Suaahara, in Nepal. Suaahara interventions were implemented in all study sites, but peer facilitators were used in only half of the study sites. Setting Rural, disadvantaged villages in three districts of Nepal: Bhojpur, Bajhang and Rupandehi. Subjects Mothers of children aged 6-23·9 months (n 1890). Results Differences over time between comparison (C) and intervention (I) groups show that the PF approach had a significant positive impact on several indicators of mothers' knowledge and practices relating to maternal and child nutrition: (i) knowing that fruits and vegetables are good for children 6-23·9 months (C: -0·7, I: 10·6; P=0·03); (ii) child dietary diversity (C: 0·02, I: 0·04; P=0·02); (iii) child minimum dietary diversity (≥4 of 7 food groups; (C: 6·9, I: 16·0; P=0·02); (iv) maternal dietary diversity (C: 0·1, I: 0·4; P=0·01); and (v) maternal minimum dietary diversity (≥4 food groups; C: 3·6, I: 14·0; P=0·03). Additionally, exposure to a PF three or more times in the past 6 months was positively associated with a small improvement in maternal (β=0·06, P=0·04) and child (β=0·06, P=0·02) dietary diversity scores. Improvements were not observed in maternal health-seeking behaviours such as number of antenatal care visits. Conclusions Peer mobilization is a potential approach for improving health- and nutrition-related knowledge and behaviours among women in hard-to-reach communities of Nepal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-806
Number of pages11
JournalPublic health nutrition
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Keywords

  • Child nutrition
  • Hard-to-reach
  • Infant and young child feeding
  • Maternal nutrition
  • Peer mobilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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