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Translating Formative Research Findings Into a Behaviour Change Strategy to Promote Antenatal Calcium and Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation in Western Kenya

To prevent pre-eclampsia, a major cause of maternal deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations encourage integrating calcium supplementation into antenatal care (ANC). To identify potential strengths and barriers of an integrated calcium and iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation program, and to gain insights from local experiences with IFA interventions, researchers in Kenya interviewed health workers, and pregnant or post-partum women. Through this formative research, the authors learned that most women and health workers were unfamiliar with the symptoms and risks of pre-eclampsia and anemia, and that most women had little experience with IFA supplements. These findings informed a multi-level behavior change strategy to promote antenatal calcium and IFA supplementation.

Maternal & Child Nutrition. 2016