Children as ‘Messengers’ for Improving Vitamin A Knowledge and Practices
in Urban Slums.
Sawardekar, Gopa Kothari, Madhavi Marathe
Eye Care Charitable Trust and S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Mumbai (MS)
Academic Editor: Dr.
Aher K. R.
A deficiency (VAD) is still a significant public health problem in India
among children. Deliberate and sustained nutrition education has been
recognized as a potent tool for prevention and control of VAD. Children
being future parents need to be aware of good nutrition and therefore it
is important to provide nutrition education to them. Objective:
To educate school children to initiate change in knowledge and practices
with a specific focus on vitamin A deficiency. Materials and Methods:
The study was carried out in selected slums in Mumbai. Western India. 50
school going children and their mothers were selected for the study.
Questionnaire, individual interviews and focus group discussions were
employed to collect data from both the groups at the baseline.
Participatory learning techniques and group dynamics approach were used
during education the sessions. Results: The knowledge scores of
the children showed a significant change (P<0.001) after the
intervention. There was significant increase in weekly frequency of
consumption of YOVs (P<0.5). The mothers were aware of vitamin A foods
(87.5%) and its deficiency (68.8%) after the intervention.
Conclusion: Children can be used as messengers for spreading
nutritional messages and promoting vitamin A foods. Involvement of
mothers in nutrition education has compounding effect.