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Health Education and Promotion


Carol Spaulding


AbstractUndernutrition among young San children under the age of five remains prominent in Namibia, despite nutritional intervention programs. Guided by the model of community nutritional environment conceptual framework and social-ecological model, this case study involved exploring perceptions of San parents and local nutritional service providers regarding the nutritional environment of San children in Oshandi Village. Semi-structured interviews and observations were used to conduct this research with 12 participants, five local nutritional service providers and seven San parents who had children under five. Irregular and unreliable nutritional support was a factor leading to not explicitly addressing needs of the San people, and programs were few in terms of quantity. Other issues included lack of dietary offerings and cultural acceptance, lack of knowledge regarding nutritional and health-related issues among the San, unavailability of resourceful land to produce foods, inaccessibility of healthcare due to service fees and distance issues, and lack of policies explicitly involving nutritional issues related to the San. This study will lead to positive social change via its suggestions for innovative approaches that are people-focused as opposed to program-focused, are tailor-made for the community, and involve using a bottom-up approach when designing and addressing nutritional-related issues for the San people.