Infant and young child feeding practices impact the nutritional and health status, growth, development and the survival of infants and young children. Most complementary foods consumed at six months and beyond do not provide enough micronutrients to meet nutritional requirements and therefore there is a need for home fortification with vitamin and mineral powder (MNP) to ensure that complementary foods combined with continued breastfeeding meet the nutritional demands of young children.
In Kenya, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is implementing a project to reduce anaemia, iron deficiency and vitamin A deficiency through improved infant and young child feeding practices and MNP intake by integrating distribution of MNP in different existing platforms including: government health facilities and commercial distribution.
To assess and benchmark the current status on the indicators to be monitored throughout the MNP project implementation, a cross-sectional baseline survey was conducted that collected data from 618 caregiver-child (6-23months) pairs in Nairobi’s Eastlands in November 2014.
This study concluded that there was low awareness among caregivers on the use and benefits for use of MNP. Although, there seemed to have been efforts to train health workers on MNPs, it seems the MNP messages have not translated to increased awareness in the community. This survey therefore recommends that the health workers, including community health volunteers be properly trained on MNPs.