Infants and young children in Dessie Zuria Woreda, northern Ethiopia: report on the results of the focused ethnographic study

This report presents the findings of a focused ethnographic study (FES) conducted in Dessie Zuria Woreda, Amhara Region, Northern Ethiopia. In this study, the FES was used to explore infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices, behaviours, and beliefs from a household perspective. The purpose of this study was to generate recommendations to guide the introduction of micronutrient packets to address issues of micronutrient deficiencies in this area. Based on the principle the introducing a new dietary regimen requires knowledge about current behaviours, practices, and conditions, the study sought to address the following key research areas:

  • Explore dietary behaviour of children 6–23 months of age;
  • Identify types of complementary foods of children 6–23 months of age;
  • Explore caregivers’ perceptions of the characteristics of infant and young child (IYC) foods;
  • Assess the sources of IYC and family food acquisition, preparation, and storage;
  • Understand how seasonal differences influence IYC and family foods;
  • Examine the challenges experienced by caregivers, including those related to food and feeding;
  • Identify the cultural and psychological aspects of IYCF and caregiving behaviours (including related to health and sickness); and
  • Assess caregivers’ perceptions around vitamin and mineral supplements.

This report presents the key components and findings of the study along with the main implications and recommendations. 

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