Samples, Surveys, and Smiling Kids!

After lots of hard work and measuring out over a hundred samples of RUTF for kids at clinic, week one of the PUFA acceptability trial is complete!


setting up the food for the Likability Test at clinic


Mothers gather around our covered clinic area waiting for their children to be screened

The week began with a Part II site, where I enlisted the help of two HSAs (community health workers in that village) and one of our nurses to administer enrollment surveys for the 31 children who were eligible to paritipate in the trial at that site. Next, the mothers randomly selected a card which indicated the type of food they would feed their child. The children were then given a cup with 30g of RUTF, and timed to see how long it took them to finish eating. Some of the children weren’t too keen on their food (or weren’t hungry), so the remaining food was also measured and recorded. Next, the mothers were asked to complete a Likability Survey to asses the level of satisfaction their child demonstrated when eating the food. Mothers were then given either a full Chiponde dose, or one with PUFA food added to it (the same food the child had tested) and instructed to return 3 days later for a follow up Acceptability Survey. 30 of the moms returned to take the survey (which was administered in Chichewa by HSAs and a nurse), and they each received a gift for their participation.


Between the start and completion of Part II, I went to two other sites to begin the Part I sites, which only randomly test the food on site and complete at Likability Survey. Between the two sites, I was able to enroll 63 children in this part of the trial.


a smiling grandmother feeds test food to her granddaughter, yum!


This week was a learning experience (some of the questions were ambiguous, timing the eating was a challenge with 20 moms feeding their children at the same time, and I was learning how to best explain the trial to the HSAs helping me), but I’ll call it a success! I will enroll 66 more children over the next 2 weeks, and then create a way to assess the data I have collected. Check back for more on it next week!




  1. amansaray says:

    I am also doing research in another country, and I can only imagine that you are facing obstacles you never anticipated just like I am. I know I might just be guessing but if you are, I want to give you encouragement to continue your research. I finished my research and all the obstacles I faced made the end results of my research even more satisfying. Good luck.