Dietary diversity of the school feeding program and factors influencing the school feeding program in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya : a perspective of school principals/teachers in charge

Ogachi, Solomon Mosomi (2016-03)

Thesis (MNutr)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Introduction: The majority of the world’s hungry people are found in developing countries with as many as 66 million children attending classes hungry. Hungry children are undernourished, fall ill more often, attend class less frequently, have poor concentration in class and their learning ability (cognitive development) is greatly impeded. Initiating the school feeding programs (SFP) contributes towards providing safety nets, educational and nutritional benefits for children in poverty stricken areas. In addressing the nutritional well-being of children, provision of a wide variety of diet ensures intake of essential nutrients. The aim of this study was to determine the dietary diversity of the SFP, sponsored by Feed the Children (FTC), and to assess the factors (from the perspective of school principals/teachers in charge) that influence the SFP in urban slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Methods: A total of 78 principals/teachers in charge of the SFP were interviewed in this cross sectional descriptive study. An evaluation questionnaire was used during the interview to assess factors such as the structure and management of the program, children’s satisfaction with daily portion of food, level of community involvement, availability of infrastructure and related items, and dietary diversity of the SFP basket. Concurrently with the interviews, a research assistant went round the school filling an observation checklist probing on the processes of SFP implementation in the schools. Results: There was a high participation of over 95% of the children enrolled in the SFP. The SFP obtained a mean dietary diversity score of 3.97. There was significant differences between formal and non-formal schools in dietary diversity score (p=0.035).The average duration of cooking time for the SFP meals was 12 hours (SD 6.5) with significant differences between formal and non-formal schools (p=0.0025). Majority (82%) of the schools served their first SFP meal very late in the day (between 12:00 – 14:00 pm). Participants further reported that schools depend largely on donors for SFP ingredients, lacked essential infrastructure and had enough space to accommodate extra stock should the SFP basket be expanded. Community involvement in the SFP was strong and could be increased. Half of the participating schools did not have vegetable gardens. There was a general lack of knowledge about agricultural practices among participants. Participants and food handlers would benefit from improving their nutrition knowledge, enabling them to act as role models for the children. Conclusion: Supporting schools participating in the SFP in providing a more varied diet and improving infrastructure will increase diet diversity of children. Implementing nutrition education in the schools and promoting agricultural production in school vegetable gardens are potential areas for focus.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Inleiding: Die meerderheid honger mense in die wêreld word gevind in ontwikkelende lande en soveel as 66 miljoen kinders wat skool bywoon, is honger. Honger kinders is ondervoed, word meer dikwels siek, woon skool minder gereeld by, lei aan swak konsentrasie in die klas en hulle leer vermoë (kognitiewe ontwikkeling) word grootliks belemmer. Die vestiging van die skoolvoedingsprogramme (SVP) dra daartoe by om veiligheidsnette, opvoedkundige en voedingsvoordele vir kinders in armoedige gebiede te verskaf. Ten einde kinders se voedingswelstand aan te spreek, word die inname van noodsaaklike voedingstowwe verseker deur 'n dieet te voorsien wat ‘n wye verskeidenheid bied. Hierdie studie poog om die dieetdiversiteit van die SVP, geborg deur “Feed the Children”, te bepaal en faktore te ondersoek (uit die perspektief van skoolhoofde/onderwysers in beheer) wat die dieetdiversiteit van die SVP, in stedelike krot woonbuurte rondom Nairobi, Kenia, beïnvloed. Metode: Daar was 78 skoolhoofde/onderwysers in beheer van die SVP wat ondervra was in hierdie deursnit beskrywende studie. 'n Evalueringsvraelys is gebruik tydens die onderhoud om faktore te bepaal, soos die struktuur van die program, kinders se tevredenheid met die daaglikse voedselporsies, die mate waartoe lede van die gemeenskap betrokke was, die beskikbaarheid van infrastruktuur en verwante items, asook die dieet diversiteit van die SVP mandjie.'n Navorsingsassistent het in die skool rondgegaan en 'n waarnemingskontrole lys ingevul oor die implementeringsprosesse van die SVP in die skole. Resultate: Daar was 'n hoë deelname van meer as 95 % van die kinders wat ingeskryf is by die SVP. Die SVP het 'n gemiddelde dieet verskeidenheidstelling van 3.97 behaal. Daar was beduidende verskille tussen formele en nie-formele skole se dieetdiversiteitstelling (p=0.035). Die gemiddelde tydsduur om SFP maaltye te kook, was 12 uur (SA 6.5) met beduidende verskille tussen formele en nie-formeleskole (p=0.0025). Die meerderheid (82%) van die skole bedien hul eerste SVP maaltyd baie laat in die dag (tussen 12:00 – 14:00 nm). Deelnemers het verder gemeld dat skole grootliks afhanglik is van skenkers vir SFP bestanddele, het 'n tekort gehad aan noodsaaklike infrastruktuur en het genoeg spasie gehad om ekstra voorraad te akkommodeer indien die SVP mandjie uitgebrei kon word. Daar was sterk deelname van die gemeenskap in die SVP maar dit kan verder uitgebrei word. Alhoewel daar genoeg spasie beskikbaar was, het die helfte van die deelnemende skole nie groentetuine gehad nie. Oor die algemeen het deelnemers beperkte kennis gehad oor landbou praktyke. Deelnemers en voedselhanteerders sal baatvind daarby om hul voedingskennis te verbeter sodat hulle as rolmodelle vir die kinders kan optree. Gevolgtrekking: Indien skole wat deelneem aan die SVP ondersteun word om ‘n groter verskeidenheid voedsel te voorsien en die infrastruktuur te verbeter, sal die gehalte van kinders se dieetdiversiteit ook verbeter. Areas waarop potensieel gefokus kan word, is die implementering van voedingsonderrig in die skole en die bevordering van landbou produksie in skool groentetuine.

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