In many low-income countries, such as Burkina Faso, rates of malnutrition are high among children. Research indicates that animal source foods may provide important elements to improve growth and development of young children, especially during periods of rapid development, such as the first 1,000 days of life. The Un Oeuf study is designed to test an innovative behaviour change communication strategy to increase egg consumption in children 6-24 months in Burkina Faso, thereby improving dietary diversity and nutritional outcomes. This 1-year cluster randomised controlled trial tests whether the gifting of chickens by a community champion directly to a child, combined with a behaviour change package of integrated poultry management and human nutrition trainings, can significantly increase egg consumption among children under 2 years in rural communities where egg consumption is very low. The nutrition-sensitive behaviour change package is designed to increase egg consumption through improving livestock production, women's empowerment and food security at the household level. This paper presents a detailed account of the study design and protocol for the Un Oeuf study, alongside a description of the study population. Baseline data show a study population with high rates of malnutrition (stunting 21.6%, wasting 10.8% and underweight 20.4%) and a very low rate of egg consumption-less than 10% among children. Although poultry production is quite common, egg consumption is low reportedly because of cultural norms, including widespread practice of allowing eggs to hatch and a lack of knowledge about the nutritional benefits of egg consumption.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04135625.
Keywords: animal source food; cluster-randomised controlled trail; complementary feeding; early growth; infant and child nutrition; low-income countries; nutrition education.
© 2020 The Authors. Maternal & Child Nutrition published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.