Research

Adolescent Inclusion in the Care Group Approach in Nigeria

Adolescent girls are a nutritionally vulnerable group due to their nutrient requirements for growth; pregnancy heightens demands and increases both maternal and child risks. The experiences of including adolescent girls in Care Groups (community based volunteer educators) in Northern Nigeria was documented in a qualitative study by IMC, involving key informant interviews, focus group discussions and a KAP survey of adolescent girls in four selected villages. Average age of having their first child was 15 years. Most were not in formal education, were socially isolated, and lacked decision-making power. Through Core Group participation, improved knowledge and practices related to their own and their child’s nutrition, health and hygiene were observed. Community and family (especially husbands) buy-in proved critical to including married adolescent girls in Care Group activities. Recommendations include development of adolescent-only sessions, targeting of unmarried mothers through home visits, more in-depth support on topics such as pre-conception health and nutrition, and identifying new means of targeting girls.

Start Date:2015

End Date:2015

Donors: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Technical, Operational, and Program Support (TOPS)

Publications: Field Exchange - Emergency Nutrition Network