Undernutrition is a major public health problem for under 5 years of age children in India. Approximately 41% and 21% of under 5 years of age children are stunted and wasted respectively. Despite the known importance of age appropriate infant and young child feeding practices for child nutrition, the rates of these practices remain poor in India. The major determinants for inappropriate IYCF practices are beliefs and knowledge of parents and caregivers. These can be effectively addressed through counselling by mobile Health technology as mobile phones are widely available and have a high penetration across the country. This formative research explored the perceptions of caregivers regarding infant feeding practices, feasibility of mobile phone for counselling and targeted messaging to mothers on appropriate infant feeding. We conducted in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The data were translated, transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach. We found that rural households have at least one mobile phone with good network connectivity. Utilizing mobile phones for counselling was found to be acceptable in the community, provided that the advice given is affordable, tailored to their cultural beliefs and socio-economic status.
Mobile Health, Infant and Young Child Feeding, Mobile Phones, Malnutrition, Formative Research, India
The authors disclosed receipt of financial support for the research from AusAID under the Public Sector Linkages Programme through University of Sydney. We wish to acknowledge all respondents who participated in the study, shared their valuable feedback and time. The authors would also like to acknowledge efforts of Dr. Laurel Sydney Gabler and her constructive comments to improve the manuscript.
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Recommended APA Citation
Khan, S. S., Patel, A., Puranik, A., Kuhite, P., Pusdekar, Y., Dibley, M. J., & Alam, A. (2020). Use of Mobile Health in Infant and Young Child Nutrition: A Formative Study in Rural Maharashtra. The Qualitative Report, 25(6), 1671-1671. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2020.4174