Association Between Nutrition Social Behavior Change Communication and Improved Caregiver Health and Nutrition Knowledge and Practices in Rural Tanzania

Background: Efforts to improve infant and young child feeding practices include the use of nutrition behavior change communication among caregivers of children under 5 years. We assessed the association between monthly participation in community-level nutrition group meetings on caregiver health and nutrition knowledge and practices (KPs).
Methods: Data from a community-based cross-sectional survey conducted in the Eastern and Southern Highland Zones of Tanzania were used. Indices were developed for caregivers’ knowledge of nutrition, health and childcare, household (HDD) and young child dietary diversity (CDD), and vitamin A (VA) intakes. The comparison of means and proportions was assessed using Student’s t-test and the Chi-square test, respectively, between the caregivers participating in nutrition group meetings and non-participants. The impact of the number of nutrition meeting attendance on caregiver KPs scores was examined using multiple regression.
Results: Of 547 caregivers surveyed, 49.7% attended nutrition group meetings and received information on nutrition social behavior change communication (SBCC). Overall, 28% of participating women had a moderate level of nutrition knowledge, 62% had a high level of VA knowledge, and 57% had a high level of health and childcare knowledge. Participation in nutrition group meetings was significantly associated with the health and childcare knowledge score (HKS), HDD and CDD scores, and household and young child VA intake; the magnitude of the associations was greater for caregivers who attended at least four meetings.

Conclusion: The findings emphasize the need for programs that seek to address the issues present in the use of nutrition SBCC at the community level to improve maternal or caregiver KPs and subsequently the nutrition status of infants and young children.

Citation: Grant, F. K. E.; Ackatia-Armah, R.; Okuku, H. S.; Kakuhenzire, R. 2022. Association Between Nutrition Social Behavior Change Communication and Improved Caregiver Health and Nutrition Knowledge and Practices in Rural Tanzania. Frontiers in Public Health. ISSN 2296-2565. 10. 13 p.
2022-07-11
IMPACT ASSESSMENT, INCLUSIVE GROWTH, NUTRITION, NUTRITIONAL SECURITY, POTATO AGRI-FOOD SYSTEMS,
TANZANIA

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