Assessing program coverage of two approaches to distributing a complementary feeding supplement to infants and young children in Ghana


The work reported here assesses the coverage achieved by two sales-based approaches to distributing a complementary food supplement (KOKO Plus™) to infants and young children in Ghana. Delivery Model 1 was conducted in the Northern Region of Ghana and used a mixture of health extension workers (delivering behavior change communications and demand creation activities at primary healthcare centers and in the community) and petty traders recruited from among beneficiaries of a local microfinance initiative (responsible for the sale of the complementary food supplement at market stalls and house to house). Delivery Model 2 was conducted in the Eastern Region of Ghana and used a market-based approach, with the product being sold through micro-retail routes (i.e., small shops and roadside stalls) in three districts supported by behavior change communications and demand creation activities led by a local social marketing company.

Both delivery models were implemented sub-nationally as 1-year pilot programs, with the aim of informing the design of a scaled-up program. A series of cross-sectional coverage surveys was implemented in each program area. Results from these surveys show that Delivery Model 1 was successful in achieving and sustaining high (i.e., 86%) effective coverage (i.e., the child had been given the product at least once in the previous 7 days) during implementation. Effective coverage fell to 62% within 3 months of the behavior change communications and demand creation activities stopping. Delivery Model 2 was successful in raising awareness of the product (i.e., 90% message coverage), but effective coverage was low (i.e., 9.4%). Future programming efforts should use the health extension / microfinance / petty trader approach in rural settings and consider adapting this approach for use in urban and peri-urban settings. Ongoing behavior change communications and demand creation activities is likely to be essential to the continued success of such programming.

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