The burden of anaemia and malnutrition among children is high in Mozambique. According to the most recent national survey, 43% of children under the age of 5 years suffer from stunting and 7% from wasting in 2013. Concurrently, 64% of children under the age of 5 years, 76% of children 6-23 month old, and 58% of 24 to 59 months old, are anaemic. Only 30% of children 6–23 months of age consume food from the minimum number of food groups and 11% consume both the minimum number of food groups and meals associated with better nutrient adequacy and growth.
To address these issues, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), in partnership with Save the Children (STC) and Population Services International (PSI), with funding from the Government of the Netherlands, supported MISAU in the implementation of a home fortification project, which aimed to improve complementary feeding practices through the delivery of micronutrient powder (MNP) and behaviour change communication (BCC) activities to children 6–23 months old in three districts of Sofala Province, Mozambique. The caregivers redeemed the vouchers for free at local stores in exchange for boxes of MNP sachets.
A program impact evaluation was designed to examine the effectiveness of this project. The main objectives of the evaluation were to assess voucher and micronutrient powder (MNP) coverage and MNP intake adherence and to describe changes in the prevalence of anaemia, iron deficiency, vitamin A deficiency, and malaria among children 6–23 months old. In addition, in a separate district of Sofala Province (Dondo), as part of the baseline data collection, an independent sample of children 24–59 months of age was included in the project and data were collected on micronutrient status to assist MISAU in making evidence-informed decisions about priorities for targeting interventions for this vulnerable age group. This report presents the results of the baseline survey.
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