Background: There is a lack of peer-reviewed literature describing in detail the formative research to develop Sprinkles interventions.
Objective: To describe community members' reactions to and experiences using Sprinkles, with an emphasis on acceptability, utilization, and promotion.
Methods: Fourteen initial focus group discussions on Sprinkles and a 25-family home study were conducted. For the home study, each child 6 to 59 months of age in the household received 30 sachets (1 per day). The initial 14 focus group discussions included mothers, grandmothers, vendors, women who purchased from vendors, and adults in the general population. Home study families were recruited from participants in the initial 14 focus group discussions who had at least one child 6 to 59 months of age.
Results: Sprinkles were highly acceptable to adults and most children; some children thought Sprinkles were sugar. Most home study families prepared and used Sprinkles correctly. All families reported positive effects, particularly increased appetite, and recommended Sprinkles; none experienced major problems. Potential barriers identified were lack of knowledge of and experience with Sprinkles, availability of Sprinkles, and cost. Promotional messages targeted to mothers, fathers, all child-care providers, and doctors focused on the positive health effects of Sprinkles.
Conclusions: Issues related to Sprinkles preparation, use, and barriers required attention before implementation. Locally appropriate visual and written instructions were developed for dissemination. Intervention training sessions and promotions were tailored to answer frequently asked questions, increase knowledge of Sprinkles, and provide tangible evidence of health benefits. Information needs and perceptions changed quickly after use of Sprinkles. Existing levels of Sprinkles awareness and knowledge should be considered when designing interventions.