The current project aims to deliver through a market-based approach a complementary food supplement to infants and young children in three districts in Eastern Ghana.

Methods

We completed a spatially representative survey, using the Simple Spatial Survey Method (S3M) design, two months into the project with the aim of assessing coverage and barriers to coverage early in the program cycle. The S3M approach allowed for fine scale geographical coverage maps and wide-area population-level estimates to be produced. The data presented here are from an S3M sample with \( d = 8 \text {km} \) (i.e. no person lived more than 8 km from a sampling point). A variable geometry sample design was used. This allowed a mixed urban, peri-urban, and rural sample to be taken with a spatial resolution that matched population density. The sample was taken from \(m = 58 \) PSUs spread over three administrative districts. The data reported are for \( n = 971 \) mother / child pairs in the sample (\( n = 671 \) in the 6 - 24 month target group for consumption of the supplement).

Results

Overall 64% (95% CI, 58 - 71%), 23% (95% CI, 19 - 27%), and 15% (95% CI, 12% - 19%) of the target group had ever heard of the supplement, ever used the supplement, and used the supplement at least once in the week prior to the survey respectively. These indicators are mapped in Figure 1.

Message Coverage - All Message Coverage - Target Contact Coverage Effective Coverage
Figure 1: Coverage maps of intervention

The two main reasons for non-consumption in the target group were caregivers’ lack of awareness of the product (61%), and perceived lack of need for the product (14%). These results were reported back to the program within two weeks of survey completion to provide a quick feedback loop to guide programming efforts.

Conclusion

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.

Citation

This is a published abstract that can be found here.

Aaron, G. et al., 2014. Coverage of a market-based approach to deliver a complementary food supplement to infants and children in three districts in Eastern Ghana: use of the simple spatial survey method (S3M) (255.5). The FASEB Journal, 28(1 Supplement).

image-left A full article on this coverage assessment has recently been published. It can be found here.

Aaron GJ, Strutt N, Boateng NA, Guevarra E, Siling K, et al. (2016) Assessing Program Coverage of Two Approaches to Distributing a Complementary Feeding Supplement to Infants and Young Children in Ghana. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0162462. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162462