Nutrition surveys that have been conducted since 2010 in DRC have shown that the nutritional status of children under 6 months and of women of childbearing age was dramatic.
Between 2013 and 2014 COOPI conducted an intervention in the Kimbanseke (Province of Kinshasa) and Kwamouth (Bandundu Province) health zones to promote the best practices in nutrition at the family and community level. The innovative approach of the intervention was based on the assumption that the involvement of communities, including influential people, could entail a change in behaviour.
The majority of prevention initiatives until then had been focused on the technical skills of health personnel, thus neglecting to provide technical advice during home visits and to identify the barriers to behaviour change.
After the identification of this important limitation, COOPI intervened by using different communication channels, including participatory communication and the mass media, to promote key nutrition practices at family and community level. In total, 767 people among health workers and the community have been trained and a change in behaviour could be measured in the target population of 324,306 inhabitants. Consistency and repetition of messages by various people (partners of the project, health centers, the entourage and influential people who were sensitized) were decisive drivers for behaviour changes.