Summary: Thirty villages were the unit of randomisation for this parallel clustered controlled trial in the Gambia, each with 20 randomly selected mothers with 6-24 month old children. A community-wide intervention was delivered by a team of four who visited each village during four intensive intervention activity days in 25 days, which involved performing arts, competitions and community mobilisation. The intervention used existing health systems and village/cultural structures. The primary outcome was the observed difference between the intervention and control in the mean proportion of all five key food-related behaviours (Table 1) versus all opportunities for performing the behaviours during the observation period (hereafter called 5-behaviours). Secondary outcomes included microbiological contamination of food and water for child’s consumption; the prevalence of diarrhoea and respiratory diseases; and mothers’ reporting of diarrhoea admission. Two random cross-sectional samples were taken to measure baseline characteristics and outcomes: one before randomisation, and the other 6 months post-intervention.
Trial registration: The trial was registered on the 17th October 2014 with the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry in South Africa with number PACTR201410000859336.
Keywords: cluster randomised controlled trial, diarrhoea, pneumonia, behaviour change, weaning-food, hygiene, food preparation, community intervention, performing arts, dramatic arts, motivational drives, scalability, Africa.
The full protocol is available to download here: Protocol – Manjang, et al. Promoting Hygienic Weaning-Food Handling Practices. 2017. (PDF viewer required).