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We estimated the cost-effectiveness of home fortification with micronutrient powder delivered in a sales-based programme in reducing the prevalence of Fe deficiency anaemia among children 6–59 months in Bangladesh.
Cross-sectional interviews with local and central-level programme staff and document reviews were conducted. Using an activity-based costing approach, we estimated start-up and implementation costs of the programme. The incremental cost per anaemia case averted and disability-adjusted life years (DALY) averted were estimated by comparing the home fortification programme and no intervention scenarios.
The home fortification programme was implemented in 164 upazilas (sub-districts) in Bangladesh.
Caregivers of child 6–59 months and BRAC staff members including community health workers were the participants for this study.
The home fortification programme had an estimated total start-up cost of 35·46 million BDT (456 thousand USD) and implementation cost of 1111·63 million BDT (14·12 million USD). The incremental cost per Fe deficiency anaemia case averted and per DALY averted was estimated to be 1749 BDT (22·2 USD) and 12 558 BDT (159·3 USD), respectively. Considering per capita gross domestic product (1516·5 USD) as the cost-effectiveness threshold, the home fortification programme was highly cost-effective. The programme coverage and costs for nutritional counselling of the beneficiary were influential parameters for cost per DALY averted in the one-way sensitivity analysis.
The market-based home fortification programme was a highly cost-effective mechanism for delivering micronutrients to a large number of children in Bangladesh. The policymakers should consider funding and sustaining large-scale sales-based micronutrient home fortification efforts assuming the clear population-level need and potential to benefit persists.
We assessed the role of home visits by Shasthya Shebika (SS) – female volunteer community health workers (CHWs) – in improving the distribution of micronutrient powder (MNP), and explored the independent effects of caregiver–provider interaction on coverage variables.
We used data from three cross-sectional surveys undertaken at baseline (n 1927), midline (n 1924) and endline (n 1540) as part of an evaluation of a home fortification programme. We defined an exposure group as one that had at least one SS visit to the caregiver’s household in the 12 months preceding the survey considering three outcome variables – message (ever heard), contact (ever used) and effective coverage (regular used) of MNP. We performed multiple logistic regressions to explore the determinants of coverage, employed an ‘interaction term’ and calculated an odds ratio (OR) to assess the modifying effect of SS’s home visits on coverage.
Sixty-eight sub-districts from ten districts of Bangladesh.
Children aged 6–59 months and their caregivers.
A home visit from an SS positively impacts message coverage at both midline (ratio of OR 1·70; 95 % CI 1·25, 2·32; P < 0·01) and endline (ratio of OR 3·58; 95 % CI 2·22, 5·78; P < 0·001), and contact coverage both at midline (ratio of OR 1·48; 95 % CI 1·06, 2·07; P = 0·021) and endline (ratio of OR 1·74; 95 % CI 1·23, 2·47; P = 0·002). There was no significant effect of a SS’s home visit on effective coverage.
The households visited by BRAC’s volunteer CHWs have better message and contact coverage among the children aged 6–59 months.
BRAC, an international development organization based in Bangladesh, engages community health workers called Shasthya Shebikas (SS) to implement home fortification of foods with micronutrient powders (MNP). We identified factors associated with home visits by SS, at different levels of the BRAC programme-delivery hierarchy, to implement home-fortification interventions.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey, semi-structured interviews, and collected programme-related data from sub-districts included in the caregiver survey of BRAC’s home-fortification programme and performed multilevel logistic regression modelling to investigate factors associated with home visits by SS.
Sixty-eight sub-districts in Bangladesh.
Caregivers of children aged 6–59 months (n 1408) and BRAC’s SS (n 201).
Households with older children (0·55; 0·42, 0·72; P < 0·001) and located >300 m from the SS’s house (0·67; 0·50, 0·89; P = 0·006) were less likely to have been visited by the SS, whereas those with caregivers who had ≥5 years of schooling (1·53; 1·10, 2·12; P = 0·011) were more likely to have been visited by the SS (adjusted OR; 95 % CI). Households in the catchment area of older SS aged >50 years (0·44; 0·21, 0·90; P = 0·025) were less likely to have been visited by the SS, whereas those with SS who received incentives of >800 BDT (3·00; 1·58, 5·58; P = 0·001) were more likely to have been visited by the SS (adjusted OR; 95 % CI).
The number of home visits is a function of the characteristics of SS, factors that characterize the households they serve and characteristics of their organizational context, particularly to implement home fortification of foods with MNP.
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