Background: Intake of micronutrient-rich foods among children aged 6 to 23 months in Nairobi is low.
Objective: This study aimed to assess existing coverage and utilization of micronutrient powders (MNPs), fortified staples, and iodized salt among children aged 6 to 23 months prior to implementation of an MNP program.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey among caregivers of children aged 6 to 23 months (n = 618) was implemented in 7 neighborhoods within Nairobi County, representing the implementation area of the new MNP program.
Results: Results for MNP coverage and utilization showed 28.5% of all caregivers were aware of MNP, 18.5% had ever received MNP for their child, and 10.8% had fed MNP to their child in the previous 7 days. Effective coverage (ie, the child had been given the MNP at least 3 times in the previous 7 days) was 5.8%. Effective coverage of infants and young children with poor feeding practices was significantly lower as compared to those with non-poor feeding practices (coverage ratio, 0.34; confidence interval, 0.12-0.70). Most households purchased iodized salt (96.9%), fortified oil (61.0%), and fortified maize flour (93.9%). An estimated 23.9% of vitamin A requirements of children (6-23 months) were provided from fortified oil and 50.7% of iron from fortified maize flour. Most households consumed processed milk (81%).
Conclusion: Coverage of MNPs in the surveyed neighborhoods was low. Coverage of fortified salt, oil, and maize flour was high and provided significant amount of micronutrients to children. Processed milk has potential as a vehicle for food fortification.