Evaluation of Infant and young child feeding through a Trial for Improved Practices (TIPs) in rural Varanasi
Background: Intervention targeting exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding has the greatest impact on child survival. In view of these facts a formative research was conducted in rural Varanasi with objectives-To assess the status of IYCF practices prevailing in the experimental area and to demonstrate the effect of intervention among selected mothers for improved IYCF practices. Methodology: Follow up intervention study, on 2 types of cohort (0-6 and 7-36 months old mother & child pair) conducted for the period of November 2011- October 2012. Cohorts were followed for a period of 3 months, using a formative research methodology. A total of 293 mother & child pair were enrolled for intervention using appropriate sampling methodology. WHO Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and a child feeding index (CFI) were created. The latter consisted of five components: breastfeeding, use of bottle, dietary diversity, food frequency and meal frequency which were adjusted for three age groups: 7-24 and 25-36 months Results: There was inadequacy of optimal breastfeeding and sub optimal Practice regarding Complementary feeding. Measurement of anthropometric Indies indicates that 46.7% were stunted, 35.5% are wasted and 29.6% are underweight. Inferential analysis for Difference in exclusive breast feeding and complementary feeding Index during pre and post TIPs intervention phase indicated a significant (p=0.001) change in exclusive breast and complementary feeding. Conclusion: Study indicated, it is possible to change short-term child-feeding behaviours to promote exclusive breast feeding and complementary feeding using TIPs methodology. However, long-term sustainability of these changes requires further study, and the effect of increased feeding of complementary foods, intakes of breast milk and total daily consumption of energy & nutrients requires further research.