Interventions and Approaches that are Proven to Work in Reducing Child Malnutrition in Zambia
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The Positive Deviance/Hearth (PDH) approach, addressing underweight children (6–36 months), was piloted and rolled out in four communities in Mwinilunga, Zambia. The objective was to improve child growth by applying locally identified positive feeding, hygiene, health-seeking and caring practices. PDH was implemented by trained community volunteers. Weights of participating children were monitored for the first year after Hearth. Changes in weight and nutritional status were analysed in three sites. Two of the three sites showed significant improvement in children’s nutritional status and good graduation rates. Behaviour change on feeding (e.g. using taboo ‘round’ foods) and caring practices (e.g. involving men in childcare) were observed within sites. PDH has the potential to improve growth of young children in rural Zambia. Increased technical support, collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health and other sectors, and supervision for community volunteers may enhance rehabilitation and adoption of positive local behaviours to reduce child malnutrition.
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Rights holderInstitute of Development Studies
- IDS Research