Quality of nutrition services in primary health care facilities of Dhaka city: State of nutrition mainstreaming in urban Bangladesh

Faugia Islam Anne, Syeda Mahsina Akter, Sifat Parveen Sheikh, Santhia Ireen, Jessica Escobar-DeMarco, Kristen Kappos, Deborah Ash, Sabrina Rasheed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction Despite high prevalence of malnutrition little is known about the quality of nutrition services provided through urban health systems. This study aimed to fill in knowledge gaps on quality of nutrition service provision at public primary health care facilities in urban Dhaka. Method This cross-sectional study was conducted from April-July 2019 in Dhaka City. Fifty-three health facilities were sampled following NetCode protocol. Quality of nutrition services was assessed in terms of structural readiness, process, and client satisfaction. Structural readiness included equipment, guidelines, and registers, and knowledge of health professionals (n = 130). For process, client provider interaction was observed (ANC: n = 159, Pediatric: n = 150). For outcome assessment, client’s satisfaction with nutrition service provision was measured through interviews with pregnant women (n = 165) and caregivers of 0–24 month-old children (n = 162). Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted using SPSS. Results There were gaps in availability of equipment and guidelines in health facilities. Only 30% of healthcare providers received basic nutrition training. The mean knowledge score was 5.8 (range 0–10) among ANC providers and 7.8 for pediatric service providers. Process: Only 17.6% health facilities had dedicated space for counselling, 48.4% of pregnant women received four key nutrition services; 22.6% of children had adequate growth monitoring; and 38.7% of caregivers received counselling on exclusive breastfeeding. Outcome: The mean satisfaction with services was 4.3 for ANC and 4.0 for paediatric visits (range 1–5). Participants attending public facilities had significantly lower satisfaction compared to those attending private and NGO health facilities. Conclusion There were gaps in facility readiness, and implementation of nutrition services. The clients were more satisfied with services at private facilities compared to public. The gaps in nutrition service delivery need to be adequately addressed to ensure promotion of good nutrition and early detection and management of malnutrition among pregnant women and children in urban Bangladesh.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0278621
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2022


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