CHWs (3) Community health services and child nutrition: systematic review

31 May, 2020

This open-access systematic review unerlines the importance of CHWs for improving infant and young child nutrition in LMICs.

CITATION: Janmohamed A, Sohani N, Lassi ZS, Bhutta ZA. The effects of community home visit and peer group nutrition intervention delivery platforms on nutrition outcomes in low and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrients. 2020;12(2):440


Weak delivery systems reduce the potential of evidence-supported interventions to improve nutrition. We synthesized the evidence for the effectiveness of nutrition-specific intervention delivery platforms for improving nutrition outcomes in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). A systematic literature search for studies published from 1997 to June 2018 resulted in the inclusion of 83 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-randomized, and controlled before-after studies across a variety of delivery platforms. In this paper, we report on meta-analysed outcomes for community health worker (CHW) home visits and mother/peer group delivery platforms. Compared to care as usual, CHW home visits increased early initiation of breastfeeding (EIBF) (OR: 1.50; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.99; n = 10 RCTs) and exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) (OR: 4.42; 95% CI: 2.28, 8.56; n = 9 RCTs) and mother/peer groups were effective for improving children's minimum dietary diversity (OR: 2.34; 95% CI: 1.17, 4.70; n = 4) and minimum meal frequency (OR: 2.31; 95% CI: 1.61, 3.31; n = 3). Pooled estimates from studies using both home visit and group platforms showed positive results for EIBF (OR: 2.13; 95% CI: 1.12, 4.05; n = 9), EBF (OR: 2.43; 95% CI: 1.70, 3.46; n = 12), and < 5 wasting (OR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.67, 0.89; n = 4). Our findings underscore the importance of interpersonal community platforms for improving infant and young child feeding practices and children's nutritional status in LMICs.

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