Effects of a nutrition education intervention on maternal nutrition knowledge, dietary intake and nutritional status among food insecure households in Kenya
Keywords:Nutrition education, Food insecurity, Malnutrition, Dietary intake, Intervention
Background: Malnutrition remains a major concern in the developing countries especially in food insecure populations. Maternal nutrition knowledge, among other factors, has been shown to improve nutritional status in children under the age of 5 years. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a nutrition education intervention on maternal nutrition knowledge, dietary intake, and nutritional status in Turkana County, Kenya.
Methods: Seventy-three mothers/female caretakers with children <5 years old from Nadapal village in Turkana County were included in the study. At baseline, maternal nutritional knowledge, maternal and child nutritional status, and dietary intake were assessed. During the intervention, participants were trained on breastfeeding, complementary feeding, hygiene and sanitation. The intervention was conducted for five days with two- three hour sessions each day. Six months after the intervention, a follow-up was done to assess the effect of the intervention.
Results: At baseline, 53% of the women were underweight (BMI<18.5 kg/m2), 24% of the children were stunted, 20.7% wasted, and 28.6% underweight. After the intervention, maternal knowledge on length of breastfeeding and composition of complementary foods improved. There were no significant changes in nutritional status in both women and children after the intervention.
Conclusions: Results from this study implied that nutrition education interventions may improve nutrition knowledge of the mothers /female caretakers. However, without provision of food, the effects of the gained nutrition knowledge may not reflect in the dietary intake or nutritional status and therefore future interventions need to include ways to reduce food insecurity.
Government of Kenya. Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey 2005/06. In: Central, Bureau of Statistics, Nairobi, Government printer; 2007.
Watete P, Makau WK, Njoka JT, MacOpiyo LA, Wasonga OV. Moving in and out of Poverty: A Case of the Somali and Turkana of Northern Kenya. Nomadic Peoples. 2016;20(1):123-40.
Blackwell P. East Africa's Pastoralist Emergency: is climate change the straw that breaks the camel's back? Third World quarterly. 2010;31(8):1321-38.
Ekaya W. The shift from mobile pastoralism to sedentary crop-livestock farming in the drylands of eastern Africa: Some issues and challenges for research. Paper presented at: African Crop Science Conference Proceedings 2005.
Save the Child UK. A Cost of the Diet analysis in the Kerio agropastoral livelihood zone of Turkana. London; 2013.
Commission for Revenue Allocation, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Kenya County Fact Sheet Nairobi; 2011.
USAID. Understanding nutrition data and the causes of malnutrition in Kenya; A special report by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network; 2006.
Rodríguez L, Cervantes E, Ortiz R. Malnutrition and Gastrointestinal and Respiratory Infections in Children: A Public Health Problem. Int J Environ Res Pub Health. 2011;8(4):1174-205.
Saaka M. Relationship between Mothers’ Nutritional Knowledge in Childcare Practices and the Growth of Children Living in Impoverished Rural Communities. J Health Popul Nutr. 2014;32(2):237–48.
Relief food shortage affects schools in Turkana. Relief Web website. Available at: http://reliefweb. int/report/kenya/relief-food-shortage-affects-schools-turkana. Accessed on 02 June 2014.
Blanton CA, Moshfegh AJ, Baer DJ, Kretsch MJ. The USDA Automated Multiple-Pass Method accurately estimates group total energy and nutrient intake. J Nutr. 2006;136(10):2594-9.
Blanton CA, Moshfegh AJ, Baer DJ, Kretsch MJ. The USDA Automated Multiple-Pass Method accurately estimates group total energy and nutrient intake. Journal Nutr. 2006;136(10):2594-9.
Inayati DA, Scherbaum V, Purwestri RC, Wirawan NN, Suryantan J, Hartono S, et al. Improved nutrition knowledge and practice through intensive nutrition education: a study among caregivers of mildly wasted children on Nias Island, Indonesia. Food Nutr Bull. 2012;33(2):117-27.
Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS. The Essential Nutrition Actions for Improving Women and Children’s Nutritional Status. Training manual for service providers in Malawi. Government of Malawi, Office of the President and Cabinet. 2009.
Appoh LY, Krekling S. Maternal nutritional knowledge and child nutritional status in the Volta region of Ghana. In: Matern Child Nutr. Vol 1. England; 2005: 100-110.
Burchi F. Child nutrition in Mozambique in 2003: the role of mother's schooling and nutrition knowledge. In: Econ Hum Biol. Vol 8. Netherlands: Elsevier BV; 2010: 331-345.
Fahmida U, Kolopaking R, Santika O, Sriani S, Umar J, Htet MK, et al, Effectiveness in improving knowledge, practices, and intakes of "key problem nutrients" of a complementary feeding intervention developed by using linear programming: experience in Lombok, Indonesia. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101:455-61.
Waswa LM, Jordan I, Herrmann J, Krawinkel MB, Keding GB. Community-based educational intervention improved the diversity of complementary diets in western Kenya: results from a randomized controlled trial. Public Health Nutrition. 2015;18(18):3406-19.
Negash C, Belachew T, Henry CJ, Kebebu A, Abegaz K, Whiting SJ. Nutrition education and introduction of broad bean-based complementary food improves knowledge and dietary practices of caregivers and nutritional status of their young children in Hula, Ethiopia. Food Nutr Bull. 2014;35(4):480-6.
Zhang J, Shi L, Chen DF, Wang J, Wang Y. Effectiveness of an educational intervention to improve child feeding practices and growth in rural China: updated results at 18 months of age. Matern Child Nutr. 2013;9(1):118-29.
Roy SK, Fuchs GJ, Mahmud Z, Ara G, Islam S, Shafique S, et al. Intensive nutrition education with or without supplementary feeding improves the nutritional status of moderately-malnourished children in Bangladesh. J Health Popul Nutr. 2005;23(4):320-30.
Reinbott A, Schelling A, Kuchenbecker J, Jeremias T, Russell I, Kevanna O, et al. Nutrition education linked to agricultural interventions improved child dietary diversity in rural Cambodia. British J Nutr. 2016;116(8):1457-68.
Sule SS, Onayade AA, Abiona TC, Fatusi AO, Ojofeitimi EO, Esimai OA, et al. Impact of nutritional education on nutritional status of under-five children in two rural communities of south-west Nigeria. Niger Postgrad Med J. 2009;16(2):115-25.
Tomedi A, Rohan-Minjares F, McCalmont K, Ashton R, Opiyo R, Mwanthi M. Feasibility and effectiveness of supplementation with locally available foods in prevention of child malnutrition in Kenya. Public Health Nutrition. 2012;15(4):749-56.