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Open Access Impact of a positive deviance approach to improve the effectiveness of an iron-supplementation program to control nutritional anemia among rural Senegalese pregnant women

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Background. Iron supplementation through prenatal care remains the most widespread strategy to control anemia during pregnancy, but its effectiveness is only partial, showing the need to address other approaches.

Objective. This study was conducted to measure the impact of a positive deviance approach to improve an iron-supplementation program among pregnant women in a rural Senegalese area.

Methods. A positive deviance approach (PD Micah) was compared with an ongoing integrated nutrition and health program intervention (Micah) in a rural Senegalese area. A pre-post evaluation was conducted using independent cross-sectional samples with a total of 371 pregnant women. A sociodemographic questionnaire was administered, and biologic and anthropometric measurements were performed.

Results. After 9 months of activities, the mean hemoglobin level rose from 93.9 to 100.7 g/L in the PD Micah group. Distribution of iron supplements through community volunteers and implementation of healthy pregnancy promotion sessions on a monthly basis improved the accessibility to 23.3% in the PD Micah group. No significant change was observed in the Micah group. Logistic regression analysis showed a significantly reduced risk of anemia in the PD Micah area (adjusted odds ratio, 0.25; 95% confidence interval, 0.12 to 0.53).

Conclusions. This intervention shows that a community-based strategy, such as the positive deviance approach, can contribute to improving the effectiveness of iron supplementation during pregnancy.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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