comAbstractUniversities are mandated to conduct research on community development challenges, including nutrition challenges, and provide results for uptake. Research in universities is largely conducted as part of student training and the results obtained are usually published in scientific journals or simply shelved after student graduation, thus hardly reaching the intended beneficiaries. The Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at Gulu University developed a Student-Centered Outreach Model or S-C-O as a strategy to enhance the contribution of Gulu University to community development for example through improved complementary feeding. Within the framework of the S-C-O model data were collected in 2015 and 2016 to examine complementary feeding challenges among rural communities of Amuru and Nwoya districts in Northern Uganda. The study (i) assessed the knowledge, attitude and practices of caregivers of 6-23 months old children in Acholi Sub-region of Uganda and (ii) feasibility of producing locally adapted formulae using finger millet, sesame and soy, food resources locally available in the area was conducted between 2015 and 2016. For assessment of knowledge, attitude and practices of caregivers of 6-23 months old children, a cross sectional survey that made use of quantitative methods to collect data was applied. Quantitative data collected through in-depth interviews using standardized questionnaires. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to select the districts, sub-counties, parishes and villages for data collection. With respect to development and acceptability evaluation of the composite formulae, participatory community research approach was used and led to development of complementary food formulae based on finger millet, sesame and soy. Various combinations of finger millet, sesame and soy were compounded to produce complementary food formulae corresponding to energy content of 200, 300 and 550 Kcal meant for breast fed children in the age category 6-8, 9-11, and 12-23 months, respectively and processed into flour under rural conditions. The flour formulae were reconstituted into porridge and evaluated for sensory attributes and acceptability among mothers and caregivers of children 6-23 months old to enable them select the most preferred formula for each energy category. The formulae were well accepted by the panel of caregivers in the study. However information on the products and their use was found to be inadequate among the wider community of end users. Therefore to extend this to the wider community, dissemination of the research findings from the study was undertaken between April-August 2018. The outcome of the dissemination activity revealed community appreciation of the S-C-O model for enhancing uptake of innovations in complementary feeding in rural settings.
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RUFORUM Working document series