• Household and market survey on availability of adequately iodized salt in the Volta region, Ghana

      Agbozo, Faith; Der, Joyce B.; Glover, Nutifafa J.; Ellahi, Basma; University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana; Volta Regional Health Directorate, Ghana Health Service; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2016-10-27)
      Consumption of adequately iodized salt (AIS) ≥15ppm is one of the criteria for measuring progress towards universal salt iodization (USI) and sustainable elimination of iodine deficiency disorders. After series of health promotion activities, this survey was conducted to evaluate the extent to which USI was achieved. Cross-sectional survey was conducted in 1,961 households and 350 markets to estimate the iodine levels of salt consumed or sold. Three degrees of iodization were estimated from fine, coarse and granular texture salt using MBI rapid field test kits. Differences in iodization levels were determined using Bonferroni test in STATA. Determinants for household utilization of AIS were identified using regression analysis and reported as odds ratio (OR). Availability of AIS in households (24.5%) and markets (30.9%) was far below the 90% recommendation. No differences where observed in urban (26.8%) and rural (24.1%) households. Households that used fine-texture salt (OR: 40.13; CI: 30.1-53.4) or stored salt in original packs (OR: 8.02; CI: 6.01-10.70) were more likely to consume AIS. Across districts, highest household availability of AIS was 51.7% while the least was 7.5%. The district with the highest market availability of AIS was 85.7% while the least was 8.3%. Almost 32% of the traders were aware that selling non-iodized salt was unauthorized but out of this, only 12% sold AIS. Public education should emphasis appropriate handling and storage of salt throughout the supply chain. To ensure adequate salt fortification with iodine, improved surveillance of factories and mining sites is recommended.
    • Impact of type of child growth intervention program on caregivers’ child feeding knowledge and practices: A comparative study in Ga West Municipality, Ghana

      Agbozo, Faith; Colecraft, Esi; Ellahi, Basma; University of Ghana; University of Chester (Wiley, 2015-12-02)
      Community-Based Growth Promotion (CBGP) delivered by community volunteers aims at enhancing the traditional Growth Monitoring and Promotion (GMP) programme delivered by community health nurses through the promotion of optimum infant and young child feeding (IYCF) leading to improved child growth. This study compared IYCF knowledge and practices among caregiver-child pairs (0-24 months) receiving child welfare services from CBGP (n=124) and GMP (n=108) programmes. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to interview caregivers on IYCF knowledge/practices and validated food frequency questionnaire used to record infants’ food intakes. Group differences were determined using Chi-square and independent samples t-tests (p<0.05; 95% CI). Mean IYCF knowledge scores were similar (CBGP:10.84±1.69 vs. GMP:10.23±1.38, p=0.062). However, more CBGP caregivers (17%) were highly knowledgeable than their GMP counterparts (5%) (p=0.011). Early breastfeeding initiation (CBGP:54% vs. GMP:28%, p<0.0001), exclusive breastfeeding (CBGP:73% vs. GMP:56%, p=0.001) and timely complementary feeding (CBGP:72% vs. GMP:49%, p=0.014) were reportedly higher among CBGP caregivers. Underweight was 11% (CBGP:8% vs. GMP:14%, p=0.154. Mean dietary diversity scores (10 food groups) were similar (CBGP:4.49±1.89 vs. GMP:3.87±1.89, p=0.057) but more CBGP caregivers (77%) achieved minimum dietary diversity than their GMP counterparts (61%) (p=0.035). Few caregivers achieved minimum meal frequency (CBGP:31% vs. GMP:29%, p=0.486) and minimum acceptable diet (CBGP:23% vs. GMP:21%, p=0.464) indicators. Number of children under 5 years owned by caregiver (AOR: 0.405; 95% CI: 1.13-78.53, p=0.038), her educational level (AOR: 0.112; 95% CI: 0.02-0.90, p=0.040) and IYCF knowledge (AOR: 0.140; 95% CI: 0.03-0.79, p=0.026) significantly predicted optimum child feeding. Nutrition education on optimum complementary feeding and birth spacing strategies should intensify.