Development and testing of a nutrition education tool on iron supplementation for pregnant women
Background: Although iron supplementation may prevent iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) during pregnancy, a nutrition education tool highlighting the importance of iron supplementation during pregnancy is also important.
Objectives: The aim was to develop and test a nutrition education tool on iron supplementation for pregnant women.
Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted.
Setting: Mutare City Clinic, Manicaland province, Zimbabwe.
Subjects: Sixty-seven pregnant women in their second or third trimesters of pregnancy and attending Mutare City Clinic for antenatal care (ANC) participated in the study.
Outcome measures: The preferences of pregnant women regarding form, structure and content of the nutrition education tool were established using eight focus-group discussions (FGDs) in which 67 pregnant women participated. Three additional FGDs were conducted with another 28 pregnant women to assess the user-friendliness and acceptability of the developed tool.
Results: A pamphlet was the most preferred tool, with English being the most preferred language, along with some Shona phrases. Women wanted information on IDA, dosage, duration and side-effects of iron supplementation and iron food
sources to be included in the pamphlet. The participants identified clinics, pharmacies and churches as ideal sites for dissemination of the tool.
Conclusions: A pamphlet on iron supplementation in simple English with some Shona phrases was the nutrition education tool most preferred by the pregnant women. Offering the pamphlet together with iron supplements to pregnant women
could improve compliance with iron supplements. However, follow-up ANC consultations are important for effective implementation of all key messages in the pamphlet.
Keywords: awareness, iron supplementation, nutrition education tool, pregnant women, pamphlet
The SAJCN does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.