• Effect of Short-Term Supplementation with Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food or Micronutrients for Children after Illness for Prevention of Malnutrition: A Randomised Controlled Trial in Nigeria

      van der Kam, S; Salse-Ubach, N; Roll, S; Swarthout, T; Gayton-Toyoshima, S; Jiya, N M; Matsumoto, A; Shanks, L (Public Library of Science, 2016-02-09)
      Globally, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treats more than 300,000 severely malnourished children annually. Malnutrition is not only caused by lack of food and poor infant and child feeding practices but also by illnesses. Breaking the vicious cycle of illness and malnutrition by providing ill children with nutritional supplementation is a potentially powerful strategy for preventing malnutrition that has not been adequately investigated. Therefore, MSF investigated whether incidence of malnutrition among ill children <5 y old could be reduced by providing a fortified food product or micronutrients during their 2-wk convalescence period. Two trials, one in Nigeria and one in Uganda, were conducted; here we report on the trial that took place in Goronyo, a rural region of northwest Nigeria with high morbidity and malnutrition rates.
    • Effect of Short-Term Supplementation with Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food or Micronutrients for Children after Illness for Prevention of Malnutrition: A Randomised Controlled Trial in Uganda

      van der Kam, S; Roll, S; Swarthout, T; Edyegu-Otelu, G; Matsumoto, A; Kasujja, F X; Casademont, C; Shanks, L; Salse-Ubach, N (Public Library of Science, 2016-02-09)
      Globally, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treats more than 300,000 severely malnourished children annually. Malnutrition is not only caused by lack of food but also by illnesses and by poor infant and child feeding practices. Breaking the vicious cycle of illness and malnutrition by providing ill children with nutritional supplementation is a potentially powerful strategy for preventing malnutrition that has not been adequately investigated. Therefore, MSF investigated whether incidence of malnutrition among ill children <5 y old could be reduced by providing a fortified food product or micronutrients during their 2-wk convalescence period. Two trials, one in Nigeria and one in Uganda, were conducted; here, we report on the trial that took place in Kaabong, a poor agropastoral region of Karamoja, in east Uganda. While the region of Karamoja shows an acute malnutrition rate between 8.4% and 11.5% of which 2% to 3% severe malnutrition, more than half (58%) of the population in the district of Kaabong is considered food insecure.
    • Effectiveness of Food Supplements in Increasing Fat-Free Tissue Accretion in Children with Moderate Acute Malnutrition: A Randomised 2 × 2 × 3 Factorial Trial in Burkina Faso

      Fabiansen, C; Yaméogo, C; Iuel-Brockdorf, A; Cichon, B; Rytter, M; Kurpad, A; Wells, J; Ritz, C; Ashorn, P; Filteau, S; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2017-09-11)
      Children with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) are treated with lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) or corn-soy blend (CSB). We assessed the effectiveness of (a) matrix, i.e., LNS or CSB, (b) soy quality, i.e., soy isolate (SI) or dehulled soy (DS), and (c) percentage of total protein from dry skimmed milk, i.e., 0%, 20%, or 50%, in increasing fat-free tissue accretion.
    • Impact of food supplements on early child development in children with moderate acute malnutrition: A randomised 2 x 2 x 3 factorial trial in Burkina Faso

      Olsen, MF; Iuel-Brockdorff, AS; Yameogo, CW; Cichon, B; Fabiansen, C; Filteau, S; Phelan, K; Ouedraogo, A; Michaelsen, KF; Gladstone, M; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2020-12-23)
      Background Lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) and corn–soy blends (CSBs) with varying soy and milk content are used in treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). We assessed the impact of these supplements on child development. Methods and findings We conducted a randomised 2 × 2 × 3 factorial trial to assess the effectiveness of 12 weeks’ supplementation with LNS or CSB, with either soy isolate or dehulled soy, and either 0%, 20%, or 50% of protein from milk, on child development among 6–23-month-old children with MAM. Recruitment took place at 5 health centres in Province du Passoré, Burkina Faso between September 2013 and August 2014. The study was fully blinded with respect to soy quality and milk content, while study participants were not blinded with respect to matrix. This analysis presents secondary trial outcomes: Gross motor, fine motor, and language development were assessed using the Malawi Development Assessment Tool (MDAT). Of 1,609 children enrolled, 54.7% were girls, and median age was 11.3 months (interquartile range [IQR] 8.2–16.0). Twelve weeks follow-up was completed by 1,548 (96.2%), and 24 weeks follow-up was completed by 1,503 (93.4%); follow-up was similar between randomised groups. During the study, 4 children died, and 102 children developed severe acute malnutrition (SAM). There was no difference in adverse events between randomised groups. At 12 weeks, the mean MDAT z-scores in the whole cohort had increased by 0.33 (95% CI: 0.28, 0.37), p < 0.001 for gross motor; 0.26 (0.20, 0.31), p < 0.001 for fine motor; and 0.14 (0.09, 0.20), p < 0.001 for language development. Children had larger improvement in language z-scores if receiving supplements with milk (20%: 0.09 [−0.01, 0.19], p = 0.08 and 50%: 0.11 [0.01, 0.21], p = 0.02), although the difference only reached statistical significance for 50% milk. Post hoc analyses suggested that this effect was specific to boys (interaction p = 0.02). The fine motor z-scores were also improved in children receiving milk, but only when 20% milk was added to CSB (0.18 [0.03, 0.33], p = 0.02). Soy isolate over dehulled soy increased language z-scores by 0.07 (−0.01, 0.15), p = 0.10, although not statistically significant. Post hoc analyses suggested that LNS benefited gross motor development among boys more than did CSB (interaction p = 0.04). Differences between supplement groups did not persist at 24 weeks, but MDAT z-scores continued to increase post-supplementation. The lack of an unsupplemented control group limits us from determining the overall effects of nutritional supplementation for children with MAM. Conclusions In this study, we found that child development improved during and after supplementation for treatment of MAM. Milk protein was beneficial for language and fine motor development, while suggested benefits related to soy quality and supplement matrix merit further investigation. Supplement-specific effects were not found post-intervention, but z-scores continued to improve, suggesting a sustained overall effect of supplementation.
    • Preventing Acute Malnutrition among Young Children in Crises: A Prospective Intervention Study in Niger.

      Langendorf, C; Roederer, T; de Pee, S; Brown, D; Doyon, S; Mamaty, A-A; Touré, L W-M; Manzo, M L; Grais, RF (Public Library of Science, 2014-09-01)
      Finding the most appropriate strategy for the prevention of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in young children is essential in countries like Niger with annual "hunger gaps." Options for large-scale prevention include distribution of supplementary foods, such as fortified-blended foods or lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNSs) with or without household support (cash or food transfer). To date, there has been no direct controlled comparison between these strategies leading to debate concerning their effectiveness. We compared the effectiveness of seven preventive strategies-including distribution of nutritious supplementary foods, with or without additional household support (family food ration or cash transfer), and cash transfer only-on the incidence of SAM and MAM among children aged 6-23 months over a 5-month period, partly overlapping the hunger gap, in Maradi region, Niger. We hypothesized that distributions of supplementary foods would more effectively reduce the incidence of acute malnutrition than distributions of household support by cash transfer.
    • Prognostic accuracy of WHO growth standards to predict mortality in a large-scale nutritional program in Niger

      Lapidus, N; Luquero, F J; Gaboulaud, V; Shepherd, S; Grais, RF; Epicentre, Paris, France; European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stockholm, Sweden; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2009-03-03)
      BACKGROUND: Important differences exist in the diagnosis of malnutrition when comparing the 2006 World Health Organization (WHO) Child Growth Standards and the 1977 National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reference. However, their relationship with mortality has not been studied. Here, we assessed the accuracy of the WHO standards and the NCHS reference in predicting death in a population of malnourished children in a large nutritional program in Niger. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We analyzed data from 64,484 children aged 6-59 mo admitted with malnutrition (<80% weight-for-height percentage of the median [WH]% [NCHS] and/or mid-upper arm circumference [MUAC] <110 mm and/or presence of edema) in 2006 into the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) nutritional program in Maradi, Niger. Sensitivity and specificity of weight-for-height in terms of Z score (WHZ) and WH% for both WHO standards and NCHS reference were calculated using mortality as the gold standard. Sensitivity and specificity of MUAC were also calculated. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was traced for these cutoffs and its area under curve (AUC) estimated. In predicting mortality, WHZ (NCHS) and WH% (NCHS) showed AUC values of 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.60-0.66) and 0.71 (CI 0.68-0.74), respectively. WHZ (WHO) and WH% (WHO) appeared to provide higher accuracy with AUC values of 0.76 (CI 0.75-0.80) and 0.77 (CI 0.75-0.80), respectively. The relationship between MUAC and mortality risk appeared to be relatively weak, with AUC = 0.63 (CI 0.60-0.67). Analyses stratified by sex and age yielded similar results. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that in this population of children being treated for malnutrition, WH indicators calculated using WHO standards were more accurate for predicting mortality risk than those calculated using the NCHS reference. The findings are valid for a population of already malnourished children and are not necessarily generalizable to a population of children being screened for malnutrition. Future work is needed to assess which criteria are best for admission purposes to identify children most likely to benefit from therapeutic or supplementary feeding programs.