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South African Journal of Child Health

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Community feedback on the JustMilk Nipple Shield Delivery System in the Vhembe District of Limpopo Province, South Africa

A.D. Flynn, R.L. Scheuerle, G Galgon, S.E. Gerrard, V.O. Netshandama

Abstract


Background. Infant medication administration is a major public-health challenge, especially in rural or low-resource areas. The JustMilk Nipple Shield Delivery System (NSDS) is a novel method of infant medication delivery designed to address some of these challenges.

Objective. To explore the acceptability of the JustMilk NSDS in selected communities in the Vhembe District of Limpopo, South Africa.

Methods. Data were collected through 39 semi-structured interviews and in five small groups (a total of 44 interviewees) with infant caretakers and health workers in the Vhembe District. Interviews were transcribed and coded into themes, which were verified by an independent coder.

Results. Four themes arose around the acceptability of the JustMilk NSDS: input on device design; perceived benefits of the device; perceived barriers to community acceptance; and suggested device applications. Participants expressed positivity about the NSDS concept. The potential for increased dosing accuracy was stated as the main positive attribute of the NSDS. Potential stigma was noted, and the need for an education programme on the device was discussed. No major community barriers to NSDS use were noted. Acetaminophen and deworming agents were suggested as potential applications for the device.

Conclusion. Participants were enthusiastic about the potential benefits of the NSDS, and were interested in using the device to deliver medication to infants. Design suggestions, especially to combat the potential stigma of device use, will be thoroughly considered by the researchers. This study was a positive step forward in developing the NSDS as a novel method of medication delivery to breastfeeding infants, particularly in rural or low-resource areas.




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