Intervention on adolescent nutrition is recognized as a key intervention to break the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition. Although, The Government of Bangladesh has adopted supportive policies and operational plans, the nutrition scenario of adolescents are still far from optimal. The nutrition situation of adolescent girl and maternal status indicates that there is urgent need to pay more attention and carry out programs to create awareness among the adolescents.
The aim of the project was to increase knowledge and awareness among the adolescent’s girls on the key health and nutrition messages through an extensive orientation program.
This orientation program aimed to cover mainly key topics on health and nutrition during adolescent period mentioned in the different health policies of Bangladesh. These were: importance of adolescent’s growth and nutrition, physical and mental changes, healthy food choice, nutritional requirement, advantages and deficiency disorder of different food/food groups, personal hygiene and sanitation, discourage child marriage and early child bearing.2-hours long orientation session including video, demonstration of an innovative IEC tool on adolescent’s nutrition was conducted through interactive multimedia projection among the adolescent girls’ who are studying between VI-XII grade of school/college/madrasa. The wheel shaped IEC tool contained information on ideal body weight, height, BMI, and recommended nutrient intake and daily energy requirement according to different age group (10-19 yrs).Another side of the tool also includes best food sources, nutrient composition, benefits and deficiency disorders of 9 food/food groups and food pyramid of Bangladesh. Demonstration to easily define age wise ideal body weight, height, BMI, energy and nutrient requirements and best food sources was performed as a part of the orientation session.Each session conducted among 215 adolescent girls of each
institution and thus 5 institutions from each of 64 districts (geographical unit) of the whole country were covered under the project during March-June, 2016. After each seminar paper-based single quick test was performed to measure the change of knowledge among the participants.
More than 75000 adolescent school girls aged between 10-19 years were oriented from 350 orientation seminars all over the country. Out of 10, over 95% of the adolescent girls scored full marks in the posttest. Little difference was found in score by division.
Highest interest and active participation was observed among the adolescent girls. The orientation was equally beneficial for all trainees. Such orientation program on nutrition targeting adolescent girls should be held regularly as part of school health program of Bangladesh.