Mal J Nutr 23(2): 191 - 198, 2017

Knowledge and Use of Complementary Food Fortification with Multiple Micronutrient Powders in Selected Communities in the Philippines
Normahitta P Gordoncillo1, Maria Theresa M Talavera1*, Corazon VC Barba1 & Maria Ana T Quimbo2


ABSTRACT

Introduction: Micronutrient malnutrition among young Filipino children is attributed to inadequate food intake and improper feeding practices. To improve nutrient intake, home fortification using multiple micronutrient powders (MNPs) targeting 6 -23 monthold children became an intervention program referred to as Point of Use Complementary Food Fortification with Multiple Micronutrient Powders in Zamboanga City and the Municipality of Aurora in Region IX, Philippines. This study aimed to determine the extent of knowledge and use of complementary food with MNPs in the context of the said intervention program and implementation areas.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 120 randomly selected primary caregivers with 6 -23-month-old children in the covered program areas. A questionnaire designed to elicit knowledge and use of MNPs was developed and pre-tested before data collection.
Results: Results showed that all respondents were aware of MNPs, with local health workers as the information source. Percentage of respondents with knowledge of the purpose of MNPs varied widely. Among those who did, the most well-known function was improving children’s health status. The most common practice of fortifying food with MNP involved adding it to boiled rice and vegetable dishes. Home fortification is popularly practised after cooking the food. Of the 20% respondents who claimed to observe changes in their children due to MNP, the top two positive results were children’s increased appetite and increased growth.
Conclusion: Awareness of the MNP does not necessarily translate into knowledge of what the MNP is made up of or its purpose. Although home food fortification using MNP was practised by most households, this study revealed deviations from recommendations on how to properly fortify their foods using the MNPs. Based on the findings in this study, there is a need to complement awareness of the primary caregivers with knowledge on MNPs through counselling and initiating support groups among caregivers to serve as credible and first hand examples of the proper use of MNPs.

Keywords: Complementary food, knowledge, multiple micronutrient powders, use

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