A LOCAL BASED FOOD SECURITY INTERVENTION TARGETED GROUP COMMUNICATION ACTIVITIES TO IMPROVE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF CHILDREN UNDER FIVE YEARS OLD IN LAO CAI PROVINCE, VIETNAM

Hoàng Thị Đức Ngàn, Trần Văn Long, Vũ Văn Tán, Hoàng Thị Thảo Nghiên, Lê Danh Tuyên, Dương Thái Hiệp, Lê Thị Hiệp, Nguyễn Việt Dũng, Đặng Thị Đoàn Dư, Bùi Thị Thảo Yến

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Aims: The study was conducted to (i) determine the effectiveness of the local-based food security intervention in improving the knowledge and practice of mothers in infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices, and (ii) assess the effectiveness of the intervention in improving the nutritional status of children under five years in two communes in Lao Cai province.


Methods: The open community intervention was conducted from 2014 to 2016 on all children under five years old and their primary caregivers in Thao Chu Phin and Ban Pho commune, Lao Cai province. Care Group consisted of 10-12 mothers/primary caregivers, and Village Kitchen consisted of a group of women in the village, were established and met weekly to enhance rice powder production and peer communication activities in the communes. All 150 and 194 pairs of child-primary caregiver at baseline and the end of the intervention, respectively were assessed for children’s weight and height, and primary caregivers’ knowledge, attitude, and practices on IYCF.


Results: The prevalence of stunting significantly reduced at the conclusion of the intervention, from 59.3 to 43.5% in Ban Pho commune (p<0.01) and from 73.3% to 53.0% in Thao Chu Phin commune (p<0.001). Anthropometric indicators, except for weight, improved at the end of the study (all p<0.05). The proportion of primary caregivers who had correct knowledge about food diversity for complementary feeding significantly increased from 15.5% to 56.9% (p<0.001). More food was given to children for complementary feeding (all p<0.05).


Conclusions: The intervention of local-based food security and enhancing group communication was effective in improving the knowledge, attitude, and practice of primary caregivers on IYCF, anthropometric indicators, and in reducing childhood stunting.

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