The US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Infant & Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project built support within communities and households for improving the way mothers in Kenya feed their infants, young children, and themselves. The IYCN Project collaborated with the government of Kenya and USAID-funded partners to conduct an assessment of infant feeding practices in Kenya’s Western and Eastern Provinces, which informed several national strategies and programs. The project also completed a literature review and a formative assessment on engaging fathers and grandmothers in infant and young child nutrition. Findings informed the design of an evaluation to test the effectiveness of interventions that engage fathers and grandmothers to improve and support mothers’ dietary and infant and young child feeding practices. To complement these efforts, IYCN partnered with the USAID-supported AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance (APHIA) II and APHIAplus Projects to increase support for optimal infant feeding practices at the facility level and in the community
Nutritional care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS was reported to the Global Nutrition Policy Review (GNPR) 2009-2010Study preparation and data collectionDue to the post-election violence that occurred in Kenya in January and February 2008, initiation of this study was postponed from its original start date of January 2008 to May 2008 to ensure the safety of the field team. The study team for Western Province included one field supervisor and four research assistants who were fluent in the local Luhya and Swahili languages. The study team for Eastern Province included one field supervisor and four research assistants who were fluent in Kamba, Swahili, and Kikuyu. A data analyst was also hired to enter and clean data in real time, as well as to assist with data analysis. Study procedural training was held with the entire study team, led by Dr. Kiersten Israel-Ballard and Ms. Margaret Waithaka, May 19–23, 2008. This included pretesting the data collection tools, revising all translations as needed, and piloting them in multiple languages at a local clinic. The study launch was on May 26 for Eastern Province, with field support from Dr. Israel-Ballard, and June 2 for Western Province, with field support from Ms. Waithaka. The data collection tools utilized in this study are available upon request.Study populations and proceduresThis cross-sectional study was designed to collect formative research data in a descriptive manner. This study took place at APHIA II (AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance [USAID-funded program]) affiliated sites in the Kakamega, Vihiga, Hamisi, and Bungoma Districts of Western Province and in the Kitui, Makueni, Kibwezi, Machakos, Mwala, Yatta, Mwingi, and Mbooni Districts of Eastern Province. These regions were selected to include food-secure areas of Western Province and food-insecure areas of Eastern Province. Data collection occurred between May and September 2008. According to the 2007 Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey, Eastern Province had an HIV prevalence of 4.7 and Western Province of 5.1.This study was composed of a convenience sample of quantitative in-depth interviews, brief post-counseling exit interviews, and counseling session observations. A total of 386 women older than 18 years of age were recruited. In-depth interviews were conducted with 285 women (137 in Eastern Province, 148 in Western Province). Women known to be HIV positive were recruited from PMTCT clinics, comprehensive care centers, and postnatal wards at local clinics and referral hospitals, as well as from support groups affiliated with the health centers. Inclusion criteria included being HIV infected, having an infant <18 months of age, and having stopped breastfeeding between 1 week to 6 months prior to participation. Survey questions focused on the period over which breastfeeding cessation took place, including the age of the infant, liquids and foods fed during this period and their associated costs and availability, infant illness, breast health, general challenges, as well as a 24-hour dietary recall to capture current infant feeding practices and challenges. Infant weight and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) were measured to capture current nutritional status.Post-counseling exit interviews were conducted with 80 women (50 in Eastern Province, 30 in Western Province) who had not participated in the cross-sectional survey. The difference in sample size between provinces was due to clinic staffing shortages, resulting in the lack Kenya Infant Feeding Assessment 5 of individual postnatal counseling in Western Province; group PMTCT counseling was more commonly practised Women known to be HIV positive were recruited upon leaving an antenatal or postnatal PMTCT counseling session at a health facility. Inclusion criteria included being HIV positive, being pregnant, or having an infant <12 months of age. Counseling session observations occurred 22 times with different women and in various clinics (9 in Eastern Province, 13 in Western Province). Inclusion criteria included being HIV positive, being pregnant, or having an infant <12 months of age. In Eastern Province, four of these observations were antenatal and five were postnatal; in Western Province nine were antenatal and four were postnatal. Antenatal mothers were recruited in the antenatal care (ANC) clinic in the PMTCT section. Postnatal mothers were recruited in the comprehensive care center or in the maternal and child health (MCH) ward. Three observations were of ANC group counseling sessions rather than individual sessions; two in Western, one in Eastern. The observer used a check list to indicate whether a specified topic had been covered during the session. Although recruitment criteria were inclusive of both antenatal and postnatal mothers with infants under 12 months of age, most (n = 8) of the mothers interviewed postnatally had infants of only 1 month of age, while one mother had a 3-month-old and another had a 9-month-old infant, thus limiting the infant age ranges. All clients who met the recruitment criteria and consented to join the study during the recruitment period were recruited. To ensure eligibility and guardianship of the infant we required identification documents prior to enrollment. Additionally, 11 local stakeholders, including district and provincial nutritionists and nursing officers from Nairobi and Eastern and Western Provinces, were informally interviewed to gather their perceptions and attitudes toward infant feeding in the context of HIV in their communities.
Weightfor-age (WFA) z-score,Upper-arm-circumference-for-age z-scoreMUACcount of the number of morbidities (0 to 5) the infant experienced during or subsequent to weaning, chosen from a list of five morbidities (respiratory symptoms, diarrhea, dehydration symptoms, fever, and refusal to eat)
To monitor the progress of infant feeding and HIV activities, IYCN provided reporting tools which included a form to help APHIA II Western-supported PMTCT counselors accurately report on their facility-based activities in a standardized way, and to provide an opportunity to share successes and challenges; an observation checklist to provide structured feedback to facility-based counselors to improve their counseling and facilitation skills; and a reporting form for community-based workers to report on infant feeding activities. Subsequently, several PMTCT and HIV partners adopted the tools for use in their programs.
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