A focused ethnographic study: investigating the barriers to antenatal care attendance to improve iron and folic acid supplementation in Kenya

3ie, the Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition, FHI360-Kenya, and the Kenya Medical Research Institute are organising a webinar to discuss novel applications of focused ethnographic qualitative methods for understanding and addressing barriers within anemia control delivery systems.

Start Date: 26 February 2020 End Date: 26 February 2020

The study discussed used an implementation research approach to strengthen an iron and folic acid intervention delivered through the Baby-Friendly Community Initiative in Kenya. The program and research team and nutritional science experts will share preliminary findings and experiences.

Presenters: Gretel Pelto, graduate professor (retired from active teaching), Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University;
Zipporah Bukania, principal investigator, Director – Centre for Public Health Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute; and
Brian N Njoroje, Project Coordinator, Co-principal investigator
Facilitator: Isabelle Michaud-Létourneau, SISN Senior Technical Lead
Time: 9 am EST

Anemia is a prevalent health problem among pregnant women in Kenya, affecting two of every five pregnant women. Although iron and folic acid supplements (IFAS) are included in Kenya’s national plan of action for accelerating the reduction of iron deficiency of pregnant women, compliance rates remain low.  

Program and research partners in Kenya and technical experts from the Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition are using an implementation science approach to improve IFAS delivery within the Baby-friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) antenatal care framework.  

The first objective of their implementation research agenda is to examine the barriers preventing early initiation of focused antenatal care (ANC) through BFCI. In this endeavour, they apply a Focused Ethnographic Study (FES) approach to build a picture of the behaviours, practices, beliefs and environments affecting ANC access using household and health service provider interviews. Results from this study will generate a descriptive model of context-specific perceptions, which will inform and strengthen programmatic efforts.

Presenters in this webinar shared:

  1. Brief introduction of the FES approach
  2. Describe the Implementation Science Initiative in Kenya and the intervention undertaken to improve IFAS by using BFCI in Kenya
  3. Provided an illustrative example of FES by presenting the study and preliminary findings

For more information, contact 3ie at info@3ieimpact.org or SISN at info@implementnutrition.org.