To assess the impact of a programmatic intervention on ANC seeking and IFA consumption and anemia prevalence.
Program actions included community-based behavior change communication (BCC) activities and provision of essential commodities (incl IFA) to health centers (HCs). To control for seasonality, communities attached to 12 HCs were randomly included in the study during consecutive months over 1 year. In each community, cross-sectional surveys were conducted at baseline and 6 months later among randomly selected pregnant women. During home visits, women were interviewed about ANC and IFA practices and examined for hemoglobin (Hb) concentration.
Mean age and mean gestational age of pregnant women (n=922) at baseline was 25.4±6.4 yrs and 29.5±5.4 wks; and at endline (n=922) 26.0±6.3 yrs and 30.2±63 wks, respectively. At baseline, 74% reported attending at least one ANC session and 61% reported receiving IFA during this pregnancy. After 6 months, 79% attended at least one ANC session and 75% reported receiving IFA. The percent women who reportedly consumed IFA in the previous week increased from 34% to 51%. Based on preliminary analyses, anemia prevalence remained unchanged, 83% at baseline and 81% after 6 months.
Efforts to ensure adequate IFA supply at HCs and community-based BCC resulted in a modest increase in women reporting to have received and consumed IFA. Further analyses in progress will explore factors associated with program adherence.Funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Micronutrient Initiative.