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Home consumption of two fortified balanced energy protein supplements by pregnant women in Burkina Faso

Balanced energy protein (BEP) supplementation for pregnant and lactating women in low- and middle-income countries is a promising strategy to improve birth outcomes and child growth. The objective of this study was to assess and compare the acceptability of new formulations of two fortified BEP supplements, a lipid-based peanut paste and a vanilla biscuit, among 80 pregnant women in rural Burkina Faso, prior to an efficacy trial. A 10-week individually randomized cross-over study was designed, in which women received a weekly supply of each supplement for 4 weeks, and a daily choice between the supplements in the last 2 weeks. Questionnaires to assess daily consumption and supplement acceptability (n = 80) and home observations (n = 20) were combined with focus group discussions (n = 6) and in-depth interviews with women (n = 80) and stakeholders (n = 24). Results showed that the two supplements were well accepted. Quantitative findings indicated high compliance (>99.6%) and high overall appreciation (Likert score >6 out of 7) of both supplements. The assessment of preferred choice in Weeks 9 and 10 indicated a slight preference for the vanilla biscuit. Qualitative findings indicated that perceived health benefits, support from household members and educational messages from health professionals were important drivers for acceptance and compliance. Sharing was not often reported but was identified during interviews as a possible risk. We recommend that future studies use a combination of methods to identify appropriate food supplements and context-specific factors that influence acceptability, compliance and subsequent impact of nutritious food supplements.

WILEY Brenda de Kok et al. January 2021
  • West and Central Africa
  • Research
  • Case study
  • Scientific publication