UNICEF infant and young child feeding training in Zimbabwe : analysis and recommendations
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND: UNICEF introduced a community infant and young child feeding (cIYCF) training and counselling package in 2010, which was implemented in Zimbabwe for community counsellors (CCs) in rural districts. The training package is generic for programming and capacity development on community-based IYCF counselling skills. The implementation includes a set of 15 pre/post-test questions on different aspects of IYCF practices. No analysis of the training pre- and post-tests for the package has been documented in literature. The main aim of the research was therefore to analyse training records on the training in Zimbabwe and identify specific IYCF practices that might require additional attention. The mini-dissertation presents recommendations for the Ministry of Health and Child Care/Welfare Zimbabwe for possible follow up. METHODS: The study used a quasi-experimental design. We retrieved pre- and post-test training records on the 15 questions from 19 districts where training had been conducted from the Zimbabwe National Nutrition Department of the Ministry of Health and Child Care/Welfare. Fifteen districts were included for the educational material case-study experience presented in manuscript 1, while 13 districts satisfied the inclusion criteria for the in-depth analysis in manuscript 2. SPSS (version 17.1) was used to do a t-test mean comparison of the proportions of CCs giving correct responses before and after training. ANOVA was used to compare changes in proportions of correct responses from pre- to post-training by district and province. Post hoc analysis was done to determine where differences lay. A p value of < 0.05 was accepted for statistical significance. Graphical trends of proportions of CCs giving correct responses pre- and post-training for individual questions by district were generated and presented in manuscript 2. RESULTS: The training package is valuable in taking IYCF training to community level. In manuscript 1, a total of 966 CCs evaluated the training. Ninety-one per cent of CCs evaluated all the training components on average as good, while 0.2% evaluated them as unsatisfactory. In manuscript 2, we used 88% of the retrieved data for analysis. ANOVA results of the percentage change in CCs giving correct responses pre- to post-test by district were not significant (p>.05) for all the questions except question 8 on milk production and the baby’s suckling stimulus. The mean comparison t-test of proportions (pre- and post-test) was significant for all 15 questions (p<.05). Three different trends were observed in the proportions of CCs giving correct responses to different questions. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate the value of analysing the records of the pre- and post-training test training package to inform follow-up on aspects needing additional attention. The different trends in proportions of CCs giving correct responses have implications for the knowledge base on specific IYCF practices in the communities served by the CCs. We recommend analysis of similar training records where such training is planned or has taken place to inform the implementation process. For Zimbabwe we recommend follow-up of the CCs with training to address the issues raised in our findings.
- Health Sciences