Poster Topical Area: Global Nutrition
Location: Hall D
Poster Board Number: 571
Objective: We aimed to understand the factors that influence comparative effectiveness of four supplementary food aid products by exploring behaviors surrounding use of the foods.
Methods: From 7/2014 to 12/2016, the Food Aid Quality Review studied the effectiveness of Corn Soy Blend Plus with oil (CSB+), Corn Soy Whey Blend with oil (CSWB), SuperCereal Plus (SC+), and Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food (RUSF) in a blanket Supplementary Feeding Program for prevention of stunting and wasting in Burkina Faso. This was a geographically clustered, four-pronged longitudinal study of children enrolled at ~6 months of age and followed for 18 months. Sub-samples of beneficiaries participated in in-depth interviews and in-home observations.
Results: A total of 1463 caregivers were interviewed, and 209 households were observed in their homes for four consecutive days. By arm, 43%-75% reported that the ration does not last the entire month as intended, with the highest percentage reported in CSWB. Observations were consistent: the ration was present in 53%-92% of households, with the lowest percentage in CSWB. Reported sharing of the ration (consumption by anyone other than the beneficiary child) was common in all four arms; lowest in RUSF and highest in SC+ (52% to 73%). Observed sharing was highest in CSWB (36%) and was similar among the other arms (24%). Reported consumption of the ration in the recommended form was lowest in CSWB (61%) and highest in RUSF (82%). CSWB had the lowest observed consumption by the beneficiary child (22%). We observed only two households giving away the ration (RUSF) once, compared with 8-13% of households who reported giving the ration away. Twice, we observed ration porridge being shared with other households (CSWB arm). Eighteen to 21% reported and 9 to 20% were observed using the ration oil for other household cooking in CSWB and CSB+, respectively. There was no reported or observed ration selling.
Conclusions: Diversion of foods was common, indicating they are not used as intended.CSWB was shared more and eaten less frequently by the beneficiary child. These findings are important in understanding the effectiveness of these products. Challenges to proper use should be well understood; supplementary feeding programs should focus on beneficiary adherence to achieve intended impacts.
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University.