Salt Blog

Sodium reduction through behaviour change intervention using community- based health volunteers

Background 

Salt intake levels in India show that consumption is higher than the WHO recommended limit of 5 grams per day. Most salt in diet comes from home cooked foods and there is a need to change behaviour at household level if are to reduce sodium consumption in Indian households.  However, few efforts have used behavioural change interventions targeted at household levels for reducing salts in food preparations and cooking.

The George Institute for Global Health (TGI) has internationally recognised expertise on sodium reduction and has experience of working with frontline health workers in India which has demonstrated a community-based approach to managing chronic diseases in people who are at high risk of developing such conditions.

A community-based sodium reduction intervention through behaviour change effort using health volunteers can therefore help us move closer towards the WHO recommended target of 5 grams per day. 

Aim

The aim of this project is to develop a community based behavioural change intervention focused on salt reduction delivered by frontline community-based volunteers at household level, and test its feasibility, effectiveness, and cost.  The project is proposed to be implemented in Sididpet district of Telangana State. 

Research Methodology

The behaviour change intervention will be implemented in two randomly selected Primary Health Care (PHC) areas and the villages they serve.  The area broadly reflects the eating and cooking habtis of South India.  The long-standing relationship with the local government (panchayat) and strong rapport with the local district health authorities will help in implementing the program.

The project will follow a staged process in which each phase informs the next, in line with similar intervention design and implementation processes. A formative research phase will be followed by community mapping. Subsequently, a pre-post design will be used to test the impact of the intervention.

Current Status

Formative research with desk review and field activity was conducted in the second week of February 2020.

Potential Impact

Salt reduction in community particularly in food preparations and cooking