Reaching intensity

Community worker teaching a family healthy feeding practicesAlive & Thrive’s programs were intensive, reaching mothers frequently with support and messages delivered through a number of channels. Results show that the more ways that mothers were exposed to child feeding messages, the more likely they were to adopt changes in feeding practices.

For example, in Ethiopia the more ways we reached mothers with messages about the importance of feeding children protein-rich animal source foods—through home visits, village gatherings, radio spots, and other activities—the more likely they were to feed an egg to their young children. Feeding a child an egg every day is a priority recommended behavior, and one that even poor Ethiopian mothers found feasible. See the difference below.

The greater number of activities that reach a mother, the more likely she is to adopt the behavior

Half of mothers who reported exposure to five or more A&T program activities fed their child an egg, compared with 16 percent of those exposed to only one activity.

Number of activities reaching mothers in Ethiopia

9%
0 activities
16%
1 activity
23%
2 activities
23%
3 activities
34%
4 activities
50%
5+ activities

Percent egg consumption among children 6-23 months

In Bangladesh, the program achieved intensity not just through message repetition, but by getting people talking about feeding. Community mobilization activities addressed specific concerns, reassured family members, and brought opinion leaders, doctors, and others in on the conversation.

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Alive & Thrive is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the governments of Canada and Ireland and managed by FHI 360.