Evaluation of Samoa’s National Salt Strategy: What interventions can be successfully replicated in lower-income countries?

Trieu K et al conducted a process evaluation of a national salt reduction strategy implemented in Samoa, investigating the reach, dose/adoption, fidelity, cost and context of implemented programs over the course of 18 months.

The strategy consisted of awareness campaigns, community mobilization and policy and environmental changes. Data for the process evaluation was routinely collected throughout, with a quantitative survey and stakeholder interviews conducted post-intervention.

Findings suggest that moderate reach and fidelity was gained by the awareness campaigns, school nutrition standards and community mobilization, however, key challenges that reduced the dose of the intervention were the cost of the campaigns and a lack of engagement opportunities with community leaders.  Time was also a limiting factor, with 18 months considered insufficient to engage industry to voluntarily reduce salt in foods.

These findings lead authors to conclude that “Future strategies in LMICs (low-to-middle income countries) should comprise of individual and environmental-level interventions that account for contextual influences on food choices,” and suggested linking to existing programs to minimise cost.

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