Multiple Behaviour Change Intervention to Prevent Diarrhea Among Zambian Babies

Multiple Behaviour Change Intervention to Prevent Diarrhea Among Zambian Babies

Breastfeeding, regular hand washing with soap, the correct use of oral rehydration salts and the administration of zinc are simple, tried and tested remedies to prevent the severe diarrhea in small children. However, these are far too little used in countries with high child mortality, far too little known, and far too few accepted as shown by a study from the Center for Infectious Diseases (CIDRZ) in Lusaka / Zambia (1). Zambian and British scientists have now attempted to arouse the motivation of mothers and pediatric nurses to prevent diarrhea with a psychologically-designed Komboni Housewife concept (2). The information program was implemented in women’s groups in 16 medical care centers and in municipalities, as well as promoted via local radio and in roadmovies.

Six weeks after this motivation training, the effect has been checked in a comparison with a control group, which has remained without preventive helpful hints against the diarrhea of small children. The psychologically-assisted mothers said they were more likely to breastfeed their babies and use salt-sugar solutions to compensate for diarrhea-related fluid loss than mothers without adequate training. However, the preventive use of zinc and hygienic behavior remained almost the same in both groups. The results of the study underline once again how important it is to find and design appropriate information channels to help with information, even when it comes to alleviating the hidden hunger.


Read and see more:
(1) Katie Greenland et al. Multiple behaviour change intervention for diarrhoea control in Lusaka, Zambia: a cluster randomised trial. The Lancet. Volume 4, No. 12, e966–e977, December 2016. DOI: Abrufbar auch über

(2) The Komboni Housewife concept is part of the programm BetterInfo and developed of the Center for Infectious Diseases (CIDRZ) in Lusaka to spread the information user-specific for the prevention of infectious diseases. Cf.: and the video under

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