Laura MartÃn Rubio
Background: Madagascar is one of the largest malnutrition index countries from Africa. The NGO Bel Avenir (delegate in the field of Coconut Water), together with Enfants du Monde, has been in charge of providing two food supplements: moringa oleifera and lucerne leaf extract (EFL), in an attempt to alleviate the food insecurity. A great challenge is to achieve a suitable acceptability and consumption level.
Objective: Determine the acceptability and the knowledge around moringa oleifera and EFL in different education centres from Toliara and Fianarantsoa.
Material and methods: Cross-sectional descriptive study with mixed methods. The main sample included 91 participants between 9 and 17 years taking either moringa or EFL. There was a sub-sample of 50 additional subjects grouped into managers and cooks. Surveys were conducted. The qualitative approach firstly involved a situation bibliographic analysis followed by semi structured interviews, direct observations and it was concluded with pictures and videos. Data analysis was made through EpiInfo 3.5.4 and Excel 2013.
Results: The majority of the children (93.4%) indicated to have a positive experience. Furthermore, 14.3% considered the taste and smell of the supplement unpleasant. Moreover, a large percentage of the children, managers, and cooks considered that the acceptability could be improved by using other culinary techniques. Additionally, 91.3% of the managers believed that the children knew very well moringa’s and EFL’s nutritional values. From the total of children, 74.7% affirmed to know about these; however, only 7.7% were able to highlight some.
Conclusions: Moringa’s and EFL’s acceptability was relatively good, although knowledge overestimation exists around them. New ways to incorporate these supplements to food and ludic and dynamic learning methods should be developed.