Armed conflict in North-Eastern Nigeria has heightened concerns for the nutrition security of the affected populations. Micronutrient Powder (MNP) distribution commenced in 3 States with the objective of alleviating micronutrient deficiencies in young children. Formative research for the national MNP programme informed the design of the emergency programme.
Data from interviews (n=126), community workshops (n=24) and an 8-week MNP trial (n=144 households) informed the development of the programme. In July 2015 distribution to children 6-23 months of age commenced. Caregivers were counselled to give 1 sachet of MNP each day for 60 days. Thirty sachets were provided with caregivers returning for another 30 sachets, to complete 1 dose, after one month.
As of January 2016, monitoring data were available for 13 internally displaced person (IDP) camps and 60 health care facilities. Programme coverage was 23% (n=14,329) for health facility distribution and 85% (n=6758) for IDP camp distribution. Of those to receive the first 30 sachets 3009 (21%) and 3475 (51%) of children returned to health care centres and IDP camps respectively for the second 30 sachets.
An MNP programme can be rapidly taken to scale to reach a significant number of children in an emergency context. Low returnee numbers are an issue for the programme. While dislike of MNP could result in these low return numbers, data from the MNP feeding trail suggest mother like the product. As a result of these findings the MNP distribution schedule has been altered to give 1 dose (60 sachets) in one visit.