Maternal Perception on use of Edible insects for Complementary Feeding and Nutrition Status of Children in Kakamega and Siaya Counties, Kenya
Rhoda, Nakhosi Nabuloobi
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Edible insects are a good source of lipids (α- linoleic and linolenic essential fatty acids), carbohydrates, vitamins, high quality protein and minerals. Malnutrition occurs mostly in children 6-24 months old and is often caused by initial introduction of complementary feeding to children below six months, diets with low protein and diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the maternal perception on use of edible insects for complementary feeding and nutrition status of children in Kakamega and Siaya Counties in Kenya. The study adopted a cross-sectional analytical design which was used on a sample of 592 mother-child pairs (aged 6-23 months) in three wards namely; Kisa North, West Yimbo and West Ugenya in Kakamega and Siaya Counties respectively in Western Kenya. The study sites were purposively selected. Actual measurements of foods consumed were done. A structured questionnaire with different sections was used to obtain information about the socio-economic and socio-demographics, frequency of food consumption, 24-hour dietary recall, anthropometry, household insect consumption and data on maternal perception on use of edible insects for complementary feeding. Data on maternal perceptions was collected using a Likert scale of 1(strongly disagree) to 5(strongly agree). Nutrition status data was analyzed using ENA for SMART software while Nutri-survey was used to analyse data for complementary feeding practices. SPSS software version 25 was used to analyze data. Data from Focus Group Discussions and Key Informant Interviews were coded and analyzed based on the content of the study. Majority of the mothers were in the childbearing age group of 15-49 years and were married. More than half of the household heads were males and were aged between 20-49 years in nearly all (97.7%, 98.3% and 99.0%) the households in Kisa North, West Ugenya and West Yimbo respectively. Generally, among the three wards, slightly more than a half (50.9% and 54.2%) of the household heads in Kisa North and West Ugenya respectively and 48.8% in West Yimbo had attained primary education. More than half of the mothers (57.9% in Kisa North, 65.7% in West Ugenya and 64.6% in West Yimbo) had attained primary education. Almost half (49.5%) of the mothers in Kisa North and 38.9% of the mothers in West Ugenya practiced farming while 35.3% of those in West Yimbo were small scale business women. Almost half of the household heads in West Ugenya were farmers, in Kisa North they were casual labourers while in West Yimbo they engaged in fishing. The mean household income was Ksh 6002±8486, 9352.7±10434 and 4928.3±6514.9 for Kisa North, West Ugenya and West Yimbo respectively. The average household size was 5, 6 and 5 for Kisa North, West Ugenya and West Yimbo respectively. More than a third (42.1%, 33.7% and 39.3%) of the mothers in Kisa North, West Ugenya and West Yimbo respectively disagreed about the use of edible insects for complementary feeding. On average the number of meals consumed per day was 4 among the three wards. More than half (65.3%, 56.6% and 61.7%) of the children in Kisa North, West Ugenya and West Yimbo respectively in the study attained the Minimum Dietary Diversity. More than half (58.9% and 55.8%) of the children in West Yimbo and West Ugenya respectively attained the Minimum Acceptable Diet. More than half (70.3%) did not attain the Minimum Acceptable Diet in Kisa North. In terms of nutrition status of the children, there were high prevalence rates of wasting (6.3% in West Ugenya, 7.0% in West Yimbo and 6.0% in Kisa North) among the study children and low stunting (19.5% in West Ugenya and an equal proportion of 19.9% in West Yimbo and Kisa North) and underweight rates (9.2% in West Ugenya, 9.0% in West Yimbo and 8.8% in Kisa North). There was a significant relationship between the ward of residence (ꭓ²=16.86, p value=0.030), marital status of the mother (ꭓ²=11.14, p value=0.025), main source of income for the household head (ꭓ²=33.35, p value=0.007), the education level of the household head (ꭓ²=48.67, p value=0.009) and the maternal perception on use of edible insects for complementary feeding. This study recommends the use of edible insects that are locally available to improve the nutrient intake of the children. This information will be useful to the MOH through the division of nutrition for inclusion in the MIYCN policy the use of edible insects as a complementary food and to food industries as a basis for developing affordable and nutritious insect based complementary foods.