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Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition in Sierra Leone: Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, and Barriers

Malnutrition and undernutrition remains a serious health problem for many mothers, infants and children in Sierra Leone. In 2019, KIT conducted a national study to better understand men’s and women’s knowledge, attitudes and practices towards children’s development and wellbeing, with an emphasis on nutrition. 

Map of Sierra Leone

Behavioural Change Communication 

This study was designed to help the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation develop a Behavioural Change Communication strategy about maternal, infant and young child nutrition. KIT collected qualitative data in six districts across Sierra Leone. This included focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with mothers, fathers, pregnant women, health workers, NGOs, and district medical/nutrition officers, among others.

Respondent GroupPerformed
Women with Children30 FGD
Fathers with Children15 FGD
Pregnant women54 IDI
District Medical Officers6 IDI
District Nutrition Focal Persons6 IDI
Health Workers14 IDI
Representatives of Mother Support Group6 IDI
Grandmothers27 IDI
Number of Focus-Group Discussions and In-Depth Interviews performed 

KIT complemented this research with a desk study and secondary analysis of existing quantitative data (MICS and National Nutrition Survey), which the project team used for triangulation and further exploration purposes. This quantitative data analysis also identified and examined subgroups of children who are most vulnerable to malnutrition or who suffer from poor feeding practices. 

Explore the Study’s Key Findings

The study highlights a number of key findings, available via the short brochure presented below. 

Among its overarching recommendations for the Ministry’s Behavioural Change Communications strategy: 

A list of publications

Services delivered

  • Applied research

    KIT Royal Tropical Institute addresses development challenges at local, regional and global levels through research that generates new insights and knowledge in our areas of expertise: health, sustainable economic development and gender.

  • Knowledge Management

    Development and research organisations are often so focused on achieving their objectives that they find it difficult to create the time to look back, analyse and learn from what they experienced and share their results.

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