Effect of Participation in Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato focused Nutrition Education Intervention on Nutrition Knowledge, Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices, and Women Dietary Diversity in Zomba, Mulanje and Chikwawa
Effect of Participation in Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato focused Nutrition Education Intervention on Nutrition Knowledge, Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices, and Women Dietary Diversity in Zomba, Mulanje and Chikwawa.
Nutrition education not only positively affects nutrition knowledge but also contributes to the development of behaviors that can promote healthy families and societies. Hence good nutrition knowledge of mothers and caregiver’s Implies good nutrition for the whole family. However, less rigorous research has been done in Malawi to analyze the impact of nutrition education. Hence the study aimed at analyzing the impact of OFSP focused nutrition education intervention on nutrition knowledge, infant and young child feeding practices, dietary diversity, and consumption of Vitamin A rich food. The study collected data from 363 households from Chikwawa, Mulanje and Zomba districts. Poisson regression, difference in difference and propensity score matching were used to analyze the objectives. The results show that nutrition education affects nutrition knowledge but not infant and young child feeding practices. This means that the nutrition knowledge acquired did not transition to changes in feeding practices. In addition, participating in OFSP project has an impact on dietary diversity of women of reproductive age. Participants diversified with 1.07 more food groups that non-participants. However, overall, the study population had a low dietary diversity level as shown by a score of 3.88 and only 35% of the women consumed 5 out of 10 food groups. Lastly, propensity score matching results show that participating in OFSP project has a positive and significant impact on both children and caregiver consumption of vitamin A food rich food. It is therefore recommended that OFSP focused nutrition intervention be scaled up to other regions in Malawi. It is also recommended nutrition education intervention focus not only on knowledge but also change in attitude and practices. Lastly intervention must encourage farmers to grow different food groups to ensure dietary diversity.