Objective: The Three Delays Model is a conceptual model traditionally used to understand contributing factors of maternal mortality. It posits that most barriers to health services utilisation occur in relation to one of three delays: (1) Delay 1: delayed decision to seek care; (2) Delay 2: delayed arrival at health facility and (3) Delay 3: delayed provision of adequate care. We applied this model to understand why a community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) services may have low coverage. Design: We conducted a Semi-Quantitative Evaluation of Access and Coverage (SQUEAC) over three phases using mixed methods to estimate programme coverage and barriers to care. In this manuscript, we present findings from fifty-one semi-structured interviews with caregivers and programme staff, as well as seventy-two structured interviews among caregivers only. Recurring themes were organised and interpreted using the Three Delays Model. Setting: Madaoua, Niger. Participants: Totally, 123 caregivers and CMAM program staff. Results: Overall, eleven barriers to CMAM services were identified in this setting. Five barriers contribute to Delay 1, including lack of knowledge around malnutrition and CMAM services, as well as limited family support, variable screening services and alternative treatment options. High travel costs, far distances, poor roads and competing demands were challenges associated with accessing care (Delay 2). Finally, upon arrival to health facilities, differential caregiver experiences around quality of care contributed to Delay 3. Conclusions: The Three Delays Model was a useful model to conceptualise the factors associated with CMAM uptake in this context, enabling implementing agencies to address specific barriers through targeted activities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health