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Project Description

Picture courtesy: R. Megally

Backgound

In a randomized control trial led in Upper Egypt we implement and evaluate a nutrition and health intervention targeting pre-school children. Health and nutrition status during childhood are crucial for child development and health and have lifelong impacts on a range of factors. They play a role in future earnings and future health but also, more immediately, on educational outcomes such as attendance and cognitive development. Malnourishment, stunting and micronutrient deficiency (iron and vitamin A) are prevalent among preschoolers in the intervention area and are being addressed via supplementary feeding and parents’ education.

Evaluation

In the first phase of the impact evaluation, a pilot study was conducted to test the intervention and evaluation feasibility and improve the validity for the randomized controlled trial (RCT) on the big scale. The small sample size comprised six nurseries. After this piloting phase the project was scaled up to about 75 pre-schools located in various governorates of Upper Egypt. The intervention is two-fold and comprises a school nutrition intervention in which food supplementation is distributed to pre-school children aged 2 to 6 as well as health campaign delivered via phone to parents. Both parts of the intervention follow a randomized control trial design. The aim of the evaluation study is to evaluate the impact on the cognitive development and health (including iron deficiency) of the preschool children and how the provision of supplements at school level interacts with information provision to parents.