Explore the knowledge and perceptions, and understand the experiences and practices, of families, health personnel and other community actors from government-funded social programs regarding MNP supplementation in children 6 to 36 months old. Explore the processes associated with MNP supplementation, leading to an understanding of the issues related to the acceptability and consumption of MNP by families and young children.
The qualitative study took place in three regions of Peru, served by two Government-funded social programs (Servicio de Cuidado Diurno and Servicio de Acompañamiento a Familias). Data was collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews, focus groups, exit interviews from primary health care services, and semi-participative observations during counseling sessions in health services, mealtimes at child care centers and in households, as well as during household visits carried out by the social programs. Data was transcribed, coded and analyzed to identify sub-themes and their relationship to the consumption and acceptability of MNPs.
Caregivers try MNPs until they encounter a negative occurrence (diarrhea, illness) or lack of acceptability from the child. Health personnel and community actors are committed to the delivery of MNP with high perceptions of their value but there were weaknesses in training, counseling and support networks, which translate into incorrect preparation practices. Quality of monitoring data collected could be improved and further used to feedback into processes and practices.
Qualitative data provides a rich context to the processes surrounding supplementation with MNPs in these 3 regions to improve programs and increase acceptability and consumption.