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Effects of participatory learning and action with women's groups, counselling through home visits and crèches on undernutrition among children under three years in eastern India: a quasi-experimental study

Gope, RK; Tripathy, P; Prasad, V; Pradhan, H; Sinha, RK; Panda, R; Chowdhury, J; ... Prost, A; + view all (2019) Effects of participatory learning and action with women's groups, counselling through home visits and crèches on undernutrition among children under three years in eastern India: a quasi-experimental study. BMC Public Health , 19 (1) , Article 962. 10.1186/s12889-019-7274-3. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: India faces a high burden of child undernutrition. We evaluated the effects of two community strategies to reduce undernutrition among children under 3 years in rural Jharkhand and Odisha, eastern India: (1) monthly Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) meetings with women's groups followed by home visits; (2) crèches for children aged 6 months to 3 years combined with monthly PLA meetings and home visits. METHODS: We tested these strategies in a non-randomised, controlled study with baseline and endline cross-sectional surveys. We purposively selected five blocks of Jharkhand and Odisha, and divided each block into three areas. Area 1 served as control. In Area 2, trained local female workers facilitated PLA meetings and offered counselling to mothers of children under three at home. In Area 3, workers facilitated PLA meetings, did home visits, and crèches with food and growth monitoring were opened for children aged 6 months to 3 years. We did a census across all study areas and randomly sampled 4668 children under three and their mothers for interview and anthropometry at baseline and endline. The evaluation's primary outcome was wasting among children under three in areas 2 and 3 compared with area 1, adjusted for baseline differences between areas. Other outcomes included underweight, stunting, preventive and care-seeking practices for children. RESULTS: We interviewed 83% (3868/4668) of mothers of children under three sampled at baseline, and 76% (3563/4668) at endline. In area 2 (PLA and home visits), wasting among children under three was reduced by 34% (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR]: 0.66, 95%: 0.51-0.88) and underweight by 25% (aOR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.59-0.95), with no change in stunting (aOR: 1.23, 95% CI: 0.96-1.57). In area 3, (PLA, home visits, crèches), wasting was reduced by 27% (aOR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.55-0.97), underweight by 40% (aOR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.47-0.75), and stunting by 27% (aOR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.57-0.93). CONCLUSIONS: Crèches, PLA meetings and home visits reduced undernutrition among children under three in rural eastern India. These interventions could be scaled up through government plans to strengthen home visits and community mobilisation with Accredited Social Health Activists, and through efforts to promote crèches. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The evaluation was registered retrospectively with Current Controlled Trials as ISCRTN89911047 on 30/01/2019.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of participatory learning and action with women's groups, counselling through home visits and crèches on undernutrition among children under three years in eastern India: a quasi-experimental study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-019-7274-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7274-3
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Child undernutrition, Community, Community mobilisation, Crèche, Day care, Groups, Home visits, India, Quasi-experimental, South Asia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078974
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