Exploring Barriers to Uptake of Micronutrient Powders in Rural District, Zimbabwe: Findings from a Qualitative Study

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.07.01.Art008

Authors : Priscilla Kusena


Zimbabwe is implementing a micronutrient powder program, which was designed to improve micronutrient supplementation to children aged 6-23 months. One year after program inception, there are indications that uptake of micronutrient powders is very low. Thus, the study sought to identify barriers to uptake of micronutrient powders in Makoni rural district. This was achieved through phenomenology philosophy and case study design. Three villages from rural Makoni district, 11 focus groups and 20 in-depth interviews were done. Key informants included caregivers, community leaders, community health workers, health professionals and key stakeholders implementing the micronutrient powder program. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed using Coding Analysis Toolkit. Findings from the study show that barriers to uptake of micronutrient powders are poor accessibility; lack of adequate information on potential micronutrient powder side effects and poor post distribution monitoring; poor social mobilization and food unavailability. The study recommends that nutrition related programs in Zimbabwe should consider improving accessibility of micronutrient powders by considering community distribution points for micronutrient powders. In addition, nutrition related programs should consider providing adequate information on potential side effects of micronutrient powders and provide micronutrient powders as ready to eat supplements to bridge food unavailability gap.

Keywords: Barrier, micronutrient powders, infant and young child feeding, social and behaviour change communication, Zimbabwe.


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